Prop Plane, Turbine Helicopter Deliveries Rise In Q1 2021


The first quarter (Q1) of 2021 saw an increase in turbine helicopter and propeller airplane deliveries while business jet and piston helicopter shipments were flat compared to the same time period last year. According to the recently released General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) general aviation aircraft shipments and billings report (PDF), piston airplane deliveries rose 7.3 percent and turboprops saw an increase of 18.3 percent in Q1 2021. 113 business jets were shipped over the quarter compared to 114 in Q1 2020.

“The first quarter of 2021 shows progress for the industry,” said GAMA CEO Pete Bunce. “It is encouraging to see manufacturers begin to bounce back from the impacts of the pandemic. Although, we are not yet in the clear. The industry continues to face headwinds, especially with ongoing supply chain issues and pandemic related restrictions and constraints to global travel.”

Piston helicopter deliveries dropped by one unit with 37 shipped in Q1 2020 and 36 in Q1 2021. Turbine helicopter shipments rose 8.2 percent from 85 to 92 over the same time period. Total airplane billings increased 18.1 percent to $3.93 billion and total helicopter billings rose 26.2 percent to $544 million for Q1 2021.

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  1. Thanks for the link, Elton.

    Interesting that Cirrus outsold Textron by aircraft. Textron was very turbine heavy though, so they aren’t crying in their beer. OTOH, They sold almost exactly twice the amount of 172’s as Pipestrel sold of their electric trainers.

    The market speaks.

    • What strikes me is:
      Bonanza – 0
      C182 – 0
      DA-40 – 18
      SR22/T – 54

      The market does indeed speak. It’s clear Textron is content to collect some cash flow from the 172, and let the rest die a natural death. If wouldn’t surprise me if we saw the 182 & Bonanza officially end production in the next year or so.

      • These are shipments, not builds. I’d bet they ran out of 182s and need to build more. I suspect they hit a supply chain issue or maybe they build them in batches and didn’t see the late year uptick coming. OTOH, I’d bet the Beech planes are mostly made to order with an otherwise trickle on the tap to keep a few folks with certain skills in the house. Just my guesses though.