Acoustic emission sensing is a leading structural health monitoring technique use for the early warning detection of structural damage associated with impacts, cracks, fracture, and delaminations in advanced materials. Current AE systems based on electronic PZT transducers suffer from various limitations that prevent its wide dynamic use in practical avionics and aerospace applications where weight, size and power are critical for operation. This paper describes progress towards the development of a wireless in-flight distributed fiber optic acoustic emission monitoring system (FAESense™) suitable for the onboard-unattended detection, localization, and classification of damage in avionics and aerospace structures. Fiber optic AE sensors offer significant advantages over its counterpart electronic AE sensors by using a high-density array of micron-size AE transducers distributed and multiplex over long lengths of a standard single mode optical fiber. Immediate SHM applications are found in commercial and military aircraft, helicopters, spacecraft, wind mil turbine blades, and in next generation weapon systems, as well as in the petrochemical and aerospace industries, civil structures, power utilities, and a wide spectrum of other applications.