Cessna GA Deliveries Grew In 2006

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Cessna Aircraft Company said on Tuesday it delivered 1,239 aircraft last year, keeping its spot as the world's largest manufacturer of general aviation aircraft. Jet sales and overseas sales both grew significantly, said company CEO Jack Pelton. "We also did very well with our single-engine line, with 865 piston aircraft and 67 turboprops delivered," he said. The company delivered 307 Citation jets, up more than 50 over the year before. Almost half of all business-jet orders originated outside the U.S., Pelton noted. The company expects to deliver 375 jets this year, including 40 newly certified Citation Mustangs. Cessna is also finding a market for piston aircraft abroad. This week alone, a flight school in China ordered 72 new Skyhawks and Aero Club of India signed for 11 of the piston singles; all will come with Garmin G1000 glass cockpits. Last year was also a busy one for new product announcements and upgrades. Cessna developed prototypes of a new "next-generation piston" and a light sport aircraft, and announced two new jet models, in addition to gaining certification for the Mustang in September. Competitor Cirrus Design expects to release its year-end numbers this week, spokeswoman Kate Dougherty told AVweb on Tuesday. At the end of the third quarter, the two companies were nearly neck-and-neck in the piston four-seater category. The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) will release its roundup of aircraft sales numbers for 2006 on Monday.