Piston-engine deliveries up despite Covid
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Deliveries of GA aircraft in the US decreased overall in 2020, however, piston aircraft bucked the trend with a +1.4% uptick
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released its report of general aviation aircraft shipments and billings in the US for the first nine months of 2020, showing an overall decline in numbers but a surprising, although small, increase in the piston-engine sector.
“This latest shipment report gives insight into how the industry is faring after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While we are still trailing in comparison to last year’s figures due to a virus impacted second quarter, it is encouraging to see deliveries in certain segments have rebounded,” said Pete Bunce, GAMA President and CEO. Bunce added that the encouraging signs are “reflected in what aviators have witnessed over the past few months at GA airports on both sides of the Atlantic where flight activity is robust, particularly in the flight school arena”. With the introduction of the Pipistrel Velis Electro (see Pilot, December 2020) Bunce also noted “that this is the first quarter in history where we are reporting certified electric aircraft deliveries. This portends an exciting evolution in propulsion technologies and highlights another pathway in our industry’s multifaceted efforts toward, and commitment to, environmental sustainability.“
The total value of deliveries fell by twenty per cent in the first nine months of 2020, reaching $11.9b. The decline was led primarily by a decrease for turboprops and business jets (both sectors down by approximately twenty-seven percent), while the piston aircraft segment posted a growth of 1.4%, year on year. Helicopter deliveries were down by approximately twenty-five per cent.