Piston Aircraft Sales Lag
Sales of piston singles continue to lag behind last year’s impressive totals but major increases in the sales of turboprop and jet aircraft continue to keep the general aviation industry robust. Figures released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association for the third quarter of 2007 show the total number of sales up marginally (1.7 percent) but industry billings are up significantly (14.1 percent) thanks to the continuing popularity of the higher value products. GAMA President Pete Bunce said that while piston sales are off for the third quarter in a row, manufacturers continue to report strong interest in the sector and they aren’t sitting on their hands. “We are encouraged, however, by the industry’s commitment to strengthening this segment with the introduction of products that will bring new pilots and new customers into this market.” Bunce said the boom for larger aircraft shows no sign of fading “Overall, we are very pleased that demand remains robust, particularly outside of North America, for general aviation turboprops and business jets and we expect shipments to continue on a strong, upward trend in the months ahead,” he said. Overall piston single sales totaled 1,857 units for the first nine months of 2007 (down from 1,975 in 2006). The most popular piston single continues to be the Cirrus SR22 by a wide margin. Cirrus sold 156 SR22s (and a total of 193 aircraft) while Cessna’s 172SP was second at 52. Turboprop sales hit 293, up from 256 and business jet sales jumped from 628 to 759. The grand total for billings was $15.1 billion.