From rotorcraft to business jets, aircraft shipments rose shallowly across the board in 2018, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) year-end report released on Wednesday. Billings also increased in every segment except for rotorcraft. At 2,443 units, overall airplane shipments increased 4.7 percent and rotorcraft shipments rose 5.4 percent from 926 to 976 units. Airplane billings increased from $20.2 billion to $20.6 billion, a 1.5 percent improvement, while rotorcraft billings dropped by 0.7 percent.
“This is the first year since 2013 that we’ve seen all segments up in deliveries,” said GAMA CEO Pete Bunce. “New certifications over the last two years, especially in the lighter jet segments, as well as demand in North America, are driving the business jet shipment increase. This is also the second consecutive year in which shipments of piston and turbine rotorcraft are up, driven by the introduction of new models to the market.”
Cirrus announced that its 2018 results showed the company’s strongest deliveries in a decade, with 380 SR series aircraft—an increase of 7 percent over 2017—and 63 Vision Jets delivered, a significant improvement over 2017’s 22. According to the GAMA report (PDF), Piper also had a remarkably good year, delivering 229 aircraft. The 48 percent increase on last year’s 155 was mostly due to Archer, Seminole and M350 deliveries. Textron’s numbers remained mostly even with 128 Beechcraft (122 in 2017) and 473 Cessna (487 in 2017) aircraft delivered. Other noteworthy numbers include 44 aircraft delivered by ICON and 43 HondaJet deliveries.