Shipments of fixed-wing general aviation aircraft surged in the first quarter of 2019, continuing a period of healthy growth despite a sag in deliveries of rotorcraft.
Manufactures shipped 512 piston-, turboprop- and turbofan-powered general aviation aircraft during the period, up 14.5% year-on-year, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association’s quarterly report.
The value of shipments jumped 10.5% year-on-year to $4.2 billion in the quarter.
Shipments of piston-powered aircraft drove the growth, with 248 of those aircraft delivered in the period, up 24% from the same period last year.
Manufacturers delivered 123 turboprops, up 7%, and 141 business jets, up 6.8%, in the quarter.
“Results show increases across the airplane segments of the industry, but a slowdown in rotorcraft shipments compared to the first quarter of 2018,” says GAMA. “Statements by our member companies point to solid order intakes during the first quarter, laying down a positive market for later in 2019.”
The data marks continuation of a fixed-wing rebound that became evident three months ago when GAMA released its full-year 2018 report. Last year was the first since 2013 that deliveries of all three fixed-wing segments increased year on year.
The rotorcraft segment struggled in the first quarter, with 170 aircraft delivered, down 19% in one year. Those shipments were worth $510 million, down 15% year-on-year.