Aircraft Shipments Still Strong

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Cirrus and Cessna continue to battle it out for supremacy of the piston single market, and the airplanes with a parachute still have the edge. According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association's quarterly report on aircraft shipments, Cirrus delivered 144 aircraft over three model types in the first quarter, bringing in a little more than $64 million in revenue. Cessna delivered 133 piston singles (total value not broken out in the GAMA table), across a product range of six models. Diamond Aircraft delivered 73 singles and its diesel twin, the DA42 Twin Star, was by far the most popular piston twin with 42 shipped. Columbia delivered 47 aircraft and Piper shipped a total of 43 airplanes, of which 21 were piston singles. Overall, the industry is mostly maintaining the very busy production levels of the past three years. According to the report, the light single sector has slowed perceptibly with a drop from 600 units last year to 554 this year, or 7.7 percent. A surge in business jet and turboprop sales brought the overall deliveries to 842 in Q1, just five shy of last year's total. But because growth occurred in the highest value sectors, the value of the shipments was up 11.3 percent to more than $4.5 billion.