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Aircraft shipments up slightly in first three quartersAircraft shipments up slightly in first three quarters

Shipments of turbine aircraft continued to be strong in the third quarter of 2008, but that strength is expected to erode as a result of the global economic downturn, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).

During the first nine months of the year, 2,977 aircraft valued at $18.2 billion were delivered, compared to 2,918 aircraft worth $15.1 billion for the same period in 2007. The growth was driven by jet shipments, which were up 30 percent over last year to 990 units shipped in the first three quarters. Turboprops also saw a nearly 14 percent increase to 341 units shipped.

The news was less bright for piston aircraft manufacturers, who saw their shipments drop more than 11 percent to 1,647 units for the first three quarters of 2008 compared to 1,857 the previous year.

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