The value of aircraft deliveries in 2019 grew more than $2 billion with piston designs seeing the largest segment growth at 16.4 percent. In total, the industry delivered 1,324 piston aircraft in 2019, up from 1,137 last year, with bizjets seeing 15 percent growth, from 703 delivered in 2018 to 809 last year, the highest since 2009. On the back of that growth, the overall fixed-wing industry saw a 9.3 percent increase in unit volume and a 14.3 percent boost in billings from the year before, despite the turboprop segment seeing an 11.3 percent decrease in 2019. Of course, the industry has a long way to go before eclipsing the modern sales peak in 2006 of 2,755 units.
Rotorcraft took a hit for the second year in a row, with piston types dropping 36.3 percent to just 179 units delivered, alongside an 8.3 percent drop in turbine helicopter deliveries.
“The 2019 year-end numbers reveal that overall, the general aviation manufacturing industry is vibrant, although we are encountering headwinds in the rotorcraft sector. It is great to see two of our fixed wing sectors, piston airplane and business jet shipments, reached decade highs. Looking ahead, manufacturers are excited about the future, especially given the ongoing innovation in manufacturing that directly relates to safety and the progress being made in the development of supersonic and electrically propelled aircraft,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. “GAMA and its member companies will support this momentum and technological advancement through our workforce, sustainability, regulatory and legislative efforts.”
Cirrus continued to be the leader in piston aircraft but it had an overall strong year, led by the Vision Jet, of which more than 80 were delivered. Cirrus says it had a “record year of growth and expansion.” The company says that the Vision Jet saw a 29 percent increase in deliveries in 2019, and was bolstered by deliveries of 384 SR-series piston singles, representing an increase of 5 percent. “With 384 aircraft delivered in 2019, the SR Series maintained its distinction as the best-selling high-performance piston aircraft in its segment for 18 consecutive years,” says the company.
“Our growth at Cirrus Aircraft is propelled each year by our mission to create an aviation experience that is defined by innovation and excellence,” said Zean Nielsen, CEO at Cirrus Aircraft. “Our team strives to advance personal aviation with smarter, more connected aircraft and our annual performance is reflective of how our strategy is resonating with customers from both inside and outside of aviation.”