Signs of Life in Airplane Production

GAMA numbers hit positive territory.

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association released its figures for first quarter aircraft deliveries, and there was good news — some of it very good — across the board, with turboprops leading the revival.

Overall the numbers were solid, with total shipments up nearly 10 percent. Billings, which measure the amount of money those shipments take in, were an inspiring 31.7 percent higher, both compared with the same quarter in 2012. The improvements were especially noteworthy because they occurred in the first quarter, a period that is typically slower than average, as many buyers take delivery in the last quarter of the previous year in order to take advantage of fourth quarter tax benefits.

Leading the charge in the first quarter of 2013 were turboprops, with deliveries of single-engine models up around 15 percent and twin deliveries up a whopping 78.9 percent.

Piston deliveries improved by around 4 percent, a small but significant uptick.