US aerospace revenues are expected to reach a historic peak this year at $218.7 billion before slightly falling next year, according to the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA).
Military sales growth continue to drive the industry despite growing concerns about defence spending cutbacks, with sales rising to a projected $66.5 billion from $62.4 billion.
Civil aircraft sales declined in the US last year to $48.2 billion, but are forecast to rise in 2011 to $49.7 billion.
The AIA forecasts the civil sector will rise by $2 billion, or $3.2%, next year, but that improvement will not off-set new sales declines for military aircraft, missiles and space vehicles.
Overall aerospace sales will decline by about $500 million next year, according to the AIA.
In the civil sector, which includes helicopters and business aircraft, sales growth will depend even more next year on orders from Asia and the Middle East, as demand remains soft in the US and Europe, the AIA said.
The price of fuel will be the key driver for market demand in 2012, the AIA says. Boeing's ramp up of 787 and 747-8 deliveries next year are also expected to lift the civil market, according to the AIA.