October 25, 2012
By Jim Moore
With the M-class single-engine cabin class leading the way, Piper Aircraft posted a nearly 25 percent increase in aircraft deliveries through the third quarter, compared to the same period in 2011, the company announced Oct. 25.
The Vero Beach, Fla., company owned by the government of Brunei delivered 40 aircraft in the third quarter, including 13 of the piston-powered, pressurized Mirage, Piper’s most popular model which accounts for 35 of Piper’s 116 deliveries in the year to date.
Third quarter revenue increased 7.5 percent over the same period in 2011, up to $37.9 million from $25.2 million, the company reported.
Piper is working to set a steady pace of deliveries with an initiative to “level-load” factory production. President and CEO Simon Caldecott said the effort began in 2011, and has begun to produce the desired results.
"The production is nicely planned out, matches our sales, and stabilizes our manpower loading. It also helps our suppliers meet their requirements because we do not have large spikes in material demand," Caldecott said in a company statement. "Clearly, it helps the business, and our dealers and fleet customers have excellent visibility on their aircraft deliveries."
The M-class cabin aircraft—Mirage, Matrix, and Meridian—account for 69 of the 116 aircraft Piper has delivered in 2012, an increase of 16 percent from the 59 M-class deliveries logged in the first three quarters of 2011.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
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