Turboprop, business jet and helicopter deliveries increased while piston airplane shipments dropped slightly during the first nine months of 2021, according to the third-quarter (Q3) 2021 general aviation aircraft shipments and billings report released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) on Thursday. Turboprops saw the biggest jump, increasing 40.6 percent from 254 units as of Q3 2020 to 357 units over the same period in 2021. Comparatively, piston airplane deliveries dropped by just six units through Q3 2021, coming in at 895 airplanes shipped. Business jet deliveries rose 15.9 percent, rounding out a 10.2 percent increase in overall airplane shipments through the end of the quarter.
Helicopter deliveries also climbed, with total helicopter shipments rising 23.8 percent compared to the end of Q3 last year. 131 piston helicopters were handed over and 410 turbine helicopters were delivered, representing increases of 24.8 percent and 23.5 percent respectively. Total airplane billings through Q3 2021 came in at $13.4 billion and total helicopter billings at $2.4 billion.
“The general aviation manufacturing industry has shown perseverance with continued growth, all while still navigating pandemic-related setbacks, including ongoing supply chain and workforce challenges,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. “The first nine months of 2021 have shown great progress and we look forward to seeing how the year closes out.”