GA Piston Market Continues Modest Comeback

Deliveries of general aviation piston airplanes climbed by 9.2 percent through the first three quarters of this year compared with the same time period in 2013, showing a mix of bright and not-so-bright products and market trends.

According to the latest numbers released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, a total of 806 piston singles and twins have been delivered this year versus 738 through the first nine months of 2013. The uptick was led by relatively strong sales at Cirrus, Diamond and Cessna, which together accounted for more than 70 percent of all piston airplane deliveries in the period.

The GAMA delivery numbers generally do not include light sport airplanes (though there are some on the list). They also point to some potential trouble spots for manufacturers. Mooney, which just emerged from bankruptcy and is gearing up to resume production, reported delivering no airplanes this year (although it did hand over the keys to one airplane that had been on the production line when the company shut down operations), while Maule Air has delivered only two airplanes all year. The figures also show that Cessna delivered zero Skylanes this year after ceasing production of the gasoline version in favor of the delayed diesel 182 JT-A, now expected to begin reaching buyers early next year.

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