King Air 350i cockpit. Photo: Textron Aviation.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Assn. (GAMA) today released its first quarter aircraft shipments, showing that both total airplane and rotorcraft shipments increased compared to the same period in 2016, while combined billings declined to a total of $4.1 billion.
Piston airplane shipments increased in the first quarter of 2017 to 203 compared to 2016, a 6.3% increase. Business jet shipments also increased by 6.6% to 130 units. The turbine rotorcraft segment increased by 11.2% from 116 units in first quarter 2016 to 129 units in first quarter 2017. Turboprop airplane deliveries, however, declined by 7.3% compared to 2016 to 101 unit deliveries. Piston rotorcraft also slowed from 60 units in 2016 to 54 units in 2017.
“We expect future growth to be driven by the introduction of new products,” said Pete Bunce, president and CEO of GAMA. Bunce also noted the association wants to see lawmakers reform certification for general aviation airplanes, avionics and engines.
North America remained the world’s largest market for general aviation aircraft shipments in the first quarter, accounting for 326 of the total 434 reported shipments.