A relative surge in shipments of multi-engine turboprops led a positive first quarter for all GA shipments as billings improved by 31.7 percent over last year’s number, GAMA announced Thursday. Improvements to piston aircraft and jet shipment numbers were modest, posting positive changes of 3.8 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively. Diamond’s DA40 led all models in the piston single group with 27 sold. Cirrus and Flight Design were close behind. And Beechcraft Corporation, which emerged from bankruptcy in February, managed deliveries of multiple models.
Cirrus shipped 26 SR22Ts, one behind Diamond DA40 models, and Flight Design delivered 25 CT aircraft. Cessna’s top piston model, the Skyhawk SP, saw 16 shipments, matching its turboprop Grand Caravan 208B. Beechcraft Corporation delivered nine G36 Bonanzas, seven G58 Barons, and 34 King Airs (all variants). Still, the positive news for pistons was dwarfed by turboprops. Turboprop singles were up 14.6 percent, and multi-engine turboprop shipments rose from 19 in the first three months of 2012 to 34 this year, for a positive change of nearly 79 percent. Find the figures here (PDF) and GAMA’s comments here.