Piston Aircraft Sales Surge


Piston airplane sales are up for the second quarter of 2017, compared to the previous year, ending a three-year slide, according to General Aviation Manufacturers Association data. In the first half of the year, airframers delivered 468 piston airplanes—265 in the second quarter alone—up 5.6% from the first half of 2016 during which 443 piston airplanes were delivered to customers. Cirrus continues to dominate the piston market, selling nearly a third of all piston airplanes in the first half of 2017, but the growth came from Cessna. In the first half of 2016, Cessna sold only 65 airplanes. That number is up to 90 this year, mostly from the 51 Cessna 172s the Kansas-based company delivered to their owners. Despite certification of the new Mooney M20U Ovation Ultra and M20V Acclaim Ultra earlier this year, the legendary Texas company was unable to ship a single airplane in Q2—down from 2 airplanes in Q1.

“Results for the second quarter of this year are very much like the first – mixed, with some bright spots,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. “We hope rule rewrites in the U.S. and Europe, reorganization of the FAA certification directorate, and ongoing certification and regulatory reform efforts in Congress, including fuller utilization of the delegation authorization, will spur higher numbers in future quarters this year and the next.” Turbine aircraft sales were essentially flat by airframe count (526 to 527), but led the drop in dollar value of all aircraft sold ($9.0B down from $9.4B). Sales by Bombardier alone dropped from $2.8B to $2.4B—mostly on weaker sales of the Global 5000/6000 series business jets.