Piston Sales Slip Slightly
Piston single sales continue to buck the trend in a generally robust general aviation industry. The General Aviation Manufacturers Association released its annual statistics (PDF) on aircraft deliveries, and piston aircraft sales were down slightly at 2,675, compared to 2,755 in 2006. Business jets simply blew away other sectors in all aspects. "Aside from the record set for year-end billings, the industry also experienced an all-time high in business jet shipments, delivering over 1,000 units for the first time in history," GAMA reported. In fact, business jets accounted for more than 25 percent of the impressive total of 4,272 aircraft sold in 2007, with 1,186 delivered. The business jet tally was up 28.4 percent over 2006's total of 886. Turboprop numbers were also up at 459 compared to 412 last year.
Cessna sold a total of 807 piston aircraft (including one each of the Columbia derived 350 and 400 models). The 172 accounted for almost half of the piston sales at 373 but the 182 wasn't far behind at 301. Cirrus sold 710 aircraft and its SR22 was by far the most popular aircraft model with 588 deliveries. On the business jet front Cessna delivered a total of 388. The most popular was the XLS (82), followed by the CJ3 (78). Cessna shipped 45 entry-level Mustangs in 2007, a number that will go up considerably this year as production ramps up in Independence. Cessna sold by far the most airplanes, a total of 1,274 piston, turboprop and jet aircraft. But the $3.9 billion derived from those sales was far behind the money leader. Bombardier's 226 deliveries were worth $5.2 billion. Gulfstream, with 136 deliveries, collected $4.8 billion. Hawker Beechcraft sold 351 aircraft, most of them jets and King Airs, and took in revenue of almost $1.9 billion.