Has the market for GA piston airplanes finally turned a corner? Maybe not just yet, but we’re starting to see welcome improvements based on numbers from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, whose latest figures show that aircraft deliveries grew by more than 20 percent in this year’s first quarter.
The 221 piston airplanes shipped in the January-March quarter was up 21.4 percent versus the 182 delivered for the same period last year. Deliveries of turboprops, meanwhile, shrank by 8.1 percent with 125 shipped compared to 136 in Q1 2013.
Overall, shipments were up 11.9 percent with 500 GA airplanes worth $5.1 billion delivered in the quarter.
“The GA manufacturing industry’s first-quarter numbers in 2014, especially the strong showing in the piston segment, are encouraging and show that we continue to climb our way out of the recession,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said. “But we remain a long way from being out of the woods as shown by the mixed performance among sectors.”
Leading the piston market were the Cirrus SR22 with 54 deliveries and the Diamond DA40 with 48. Cessna was a distant third with 25 Skyhawks delivered.