Piper Reports Hefty Increase in Aircraft Deliveries

Demand for training aircraft remains strong.

Piper Aircraft reported a double-digit growth in aircraft revenue and deliveries in 2017.Piper Aircraft

What better way to interpret the economic tea leaves than a peek at the end-of-year numbers. For Piper Aircraft, data released yesterday showed a company-reported, double-digit growth in aircraft revenue and deliveries in 2017. Prominent in those numbers was the increase in demand for Piper’s training and M-class aircraft.

While GAMA's 2017 year-end data on Piper is not yet available, 3rd quarter shipments indicate the company was on track to exceed 2016's 127 aircraft delivered. Following GAMA's November report that showed Piper had already delivered 99 aircraft this year, a Piper spokesman told Flying the company expects total deliveries this year to reach 160 airframes.

Piper said increased demand resulted in a rise in production volume significant enough that employee count at the Vero Beach aircraft builder climbed to more than 900, 300 of which joined the company in the past 18 months, representing a 20 percent increase in workers.

Company CEO Simon Caldecott said, “With aircraft orders in place for 2018 and several long-term contracts for trainer aircraft, the near-term forecast is stable. Additionally, our commitment to a level-loaded, build to order business model further enhances stability and creates consistent work load for the team.” Level-loading balances production to ensure the company has adequate staff on site.

Piper’s fleet ranges from single and twin-engine piston powered aircraft to single-engine turboprops.