While shipments of piston airplanes dropped in the third quarter, total shipments still posted a slight increase of 1.7%.
According to recently released figures from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), shipments of piston engine powered airplanes manufactured worldwide decreased to 1,857 units in the first three quarters of 2007, down from 1,975 airplanes last year. Turboprop shipments increased 14.5%, growing from 256 airplanes in 2006 to 293 this year. Business jets also were up with shipments totaling 759, a 20.9% increase. Industry billings rose to $15.1 billion.
“This is the third consecutive quarter where growth in the piston market has wavered,” noted Pete Bunce, GAMA president and CEO. “We are encouraged, however, by the industry’s commitment to strengthening this segment with the introduction of products that will bring new pilots and new customers into this market. The good news is that our manufacturers in this segment have not reported a noticeable decline in interest in the piston market.”
He added that demand “remains robust,” particularly outside of North America, for turboprops and business jets. “We expect shipments to continue on a strong, upward trend in the months ahead,” he added.
Meanwhile, GAMA’s board of directors elected Alan Klapmeier, chairman and CEO of Cirrus Design Corp., as chairman for 2008. Klapmeier previously served as vice chairman and chairman of the security issues committee. Mark Van Tine, president and CEO of Jeppesen, was elected vice chairman. He has served as chairman of the international affairs committee and will continue this role in the coming year.
Two new companies also joined the organization: Aero Mach Labs of Wichita, and Jet Aviation of Zurich, Switzerland.
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