Visual Approach: Boom Times

Deliveries at all-time levels

April 8, 2014

visual approach

A flood of surplus aircraft, affordable prices, and new models stoked a boom in general aviation sales in the 1960s and 1970s. Both Cessna and Piper refreshed their lines of tailwheel aircraft with tricycle-gear airplanes, giving birth to the Cessna 172 (in 1957) and the Piper Cherokee.

The Bell JetRanger became the workhorse of the helicopter fleet while business jets came into their own with the Cessna Citation 500 and the Learjet 23.

Composite materials appeared with the Windecker Eagle in 1967. The Champion Decathlon began its role as a conventional-gear aerobatic trainer, and delivery totals for all manufacturers hit levels unequaled since.

Download a larger version of this image