Piston Singles Lead Charge

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Through the sine-wave track of change in the industry's fortunes in recent years, sales of piston singles have traditionally been the bright spot (sometimes more of a glimmer) and 2006 is no exception. The total number of piston single shipments in the first three months of the year was 597, up from 434 in 2005 for a whopping increase of 37.6 percent. Bizjets weren't far behind, percentage-wise. There were 189 shipments in January, February and March, up 36 percent over Q1 in 2005. Only turboprop shipments were stagnant. There were 59 compared to 57 in the same period last year. If you're adding this in your head, the total number of GA shipments in the first quarter of this year was 845, up from 630 in 2005. In 2003, there were just 444 aircraft shipments in Q1, down 33 percent from the 531 shipments in the first quarter of 2002. Bizjets took the biggest bath in that quarter, with sales dropping 42 percent from 169 to 98.