Yearly deliveries led by Textron, piston market shows strength

PUBLISHED: 11:44 30 March 2021

The Skyhawk, made by Textron-owned Cessna,  is still the world’s best-selling single-engine piston aeroplane

The Skyhawk, made by Textron-owned Cessna,  is still the world’s best-selling single-engine piston aeroplane

Darin LaCrone Photographer 2015

In total, Textron delivered more than 1/4 of all GA aircraft last year & was the world’s third largest jet manufacturer in 2020

Textron Aviation delivered nearly 560 aircraft to customers worldwide in 2020, leading the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) annual shipments and billings report published last month. In total, the company delivered more than a quarter of all general aviation aircraft last year. The report also reveals the company was the world’s third largest jet manufacturer in 2020, after Boeing and Airbus.

According to the GAMA report, Textron Aviation was the leading business jet manufacturer in terms of deliveries in 2020, the Cessna Citation Latitude remaining the ‘most-delivered’ midsize jet for the fifth consecutive year. In total, 132 Cessna Citation business jets were delivered, the Latitude model being the most successful. Textron also delivered 113 Cessna and Beechcraft turboprops, led by its Caravan and King Air series aircraft.

However, the overall effects of the pandemic on the global aircraft manufacturing industry were evident. The global GAMA 2020 year-end general aviation aircraft billings and shipments report showed a marked contraction in sales with $22.8b of revenues reported for the year, compared to $27.3b in 2019. Good news, however, came from the promising trends shown in the second part of the year and from the surprising resilience shown by the piston-engined aeroplanes segment, which showed a yearly decline in deliveries of only 0.9%.

GAMA CEO Pete Bunce attributed the strength of the piston-engined aircraft market to a “continued interest in learning to fly – both recreational flying and for careers as general aviation pilots or in the airline industry. The trainer market sustained piston airplane deliveries during 2020 and kept them nearly at the same level as 2019”.

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