Turboprops Gain More Ground

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With jet fuel prices in the $3-a-gallon range, the fuel efficiency of turboprops is boosting sales and the total number of shipments was up 14.5 percent in the first nine months of 2007 over 2006. A total of 293 general aviation turboprops were delivered in the period compared to 256 in the same time last year, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) third quarter report “…we expect shipments to continue on a strong, upward trend in the months ahead,” said GAMA President Pete Bunce. Hawker Beechcraft’s King Air remained the most popular turboprop with a total of 41 deliveries. Pilatus’s big single, the PC-12 accounted for 27 deliveries and the Cessna Grand Caravan recorded 20 sales. Piper delivered 13 Meridians and 11 TBM 850s found homes.