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Airplane shipments down

No surprises in recession numbers

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has released third quarter numbers for airplane shipments showing a 14.5-percent drop, an unsurprising development as the nation wallows in the trough of a recession. Aircraft manufacturers say 2011 should be another flat year before a recovery begins.

Orders that will boost future shipment totals are increasing. GAMA said that in the first nine months of 2010, GA shipments fell from 1,588 aircraft in 2009 to 1,357 aircraft this year. Billings totaled $13.5 billion, down 2.5 percent.

GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said he is encouraged by recent sales announcements and by a more positive outlook overall. He also noted that general aviation manufacturers are spending more on the research and development for new products. ( Download the numbers for individual companies.)

Piston-powered airplanes totaled 634 aircraft in just the third quarter, compared to 679 a year earlier, a 6.6-percent decrease. Turboprops dropped more than 20 percent, from 293 aircraft in the third quarter of 2009 to 232 in 2010. Business jets also dropped more than 20 percent, from 616 in 2009 to 491 in the third quarter of 2010.

Alton Marsh
Alton K. Marsh
Freelance journalist
Alton K. Marsh is a former senior editor of AOPA Pilot and is now a freelance journalist specializing in aviation topics.

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