Get extra lift from AOPA. Start your free membership trial today! Click here

Used prices fall, across the board

vref Click the image above to view data.

If you had any doubts about the links between the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the recent economic downturn, and the average sales price of a used airplane, then a recent compilation by Vref is a must-see. Vref , an aircraft value reference guide, has put together a series of graphs tracing the ups and downs of the used market.

Several categories are analyzed: Light singles, complex singles, pressurized piston twins, light twins, turboprops, light jets, mid-size jets, and large jets.

Each category consists of a pool of representative airplanes. The light single price index takes in the 1979 Grumman Tiger, the 1983 Beechcraft Sundowner, the 1984 Cessna 172P, the 1978 Cessna Cardinal, the 1984 Piper Warrior, and the 1984 Piper Archer.

Complex singles are the 1982 Beechcraft Sierra, the 1990 Beechcraft A36 Bonanza, the 1978 Cessna Cardinal RG, the 1984 Cessna 182, the 1984 Cessna 210N, the 1990 Mooney M20M, the 1990 Piper Arrow, and the 1990 Piper Saratoga SP.

Pressurized piston twins are represented by the 1982 Beechcraft B-58P Baron, the 1982 Beechcraft Duke, the 1982 Cessna 340A, the 1982 Cessna 414A, and the 1982 Cessna 421C.

Analysis of light twin sales prices include the 1982 Beechcraft Baron, the 1990 B-58 Baron, the 1981 Cessna 310R, the 1981 Piper Aztec, and the 1990 Piper Seneca III.

Turboprops include the 1985 Beechcraft King Air C90A, the 1985 King Air B200, the 1985 Cessna Conquest I, the 1985 Cessna Conquest II, the 1980 Piper Cheyenne II, and the 1978 Rockwell Twin Commander 690B.

Representing the light jets are the 1991 Beechjet 400A, the 1993 Cessna CitationJet, the 1990 Citation II, the 1990 Citation V, the 1982 Falcon 10, the 1985 IAI Westwind II, and the 1991 Learjet 31A.

Mid-size jet prices studied by Vref include the 1988 Cessna Citation III, the 1992 Cessna Citation VII, the 1990 IAI Astra SP, the 1990 Hawker 800A, and the 1993 Learjet 60.

Large jets are the 1990 Bombardier Challenger 601-3A, the 1990 Falcon 50, the 1990 Falcon 900, and the 1990 Gulfstream IV.

The graphs plot the average sales price of an airplane in one of these groups. The timeline ranges from the first quarter of 1995 through the first quarter of 2010. In all cases, prices tumbled at two junctures: after the terrorist attacks, and after the economic downturn beginning in late 2007.

Subscribers can access more data by registering online.

Thomas A. Horne
Thomas A. Horne
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.

Related Articles