All segments of general aviation manufacturing were up year-over-year in the third quarter while total airplane billings rose 4.8 percent, to $14.1 billion, according to the latest report from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.
Business jet deliveries rose by 1.8 percent for a total of 446, an increase of eight units over the same period last year. Cirrus delivered seven additional SF50 Vision Jets from its third quarter 2021 total, while Textron Aviation improved its tally of Citation Latitudes by six as part of its 4.3 percent increase in business jet output. Gulfstream’s deliveries of its super-midsize G280 improved from 12 to 16 year-over-year as the Georgia-based airframer increased its overall delivery totals from 80 to 82 aircraft. Pilatus remained static, handing over 27 PC-24 light jets in the first three-quarters of both years.
On the downside, Bombardier’s delivery totals were off by nearly 10 percent as the Canadian OEM delivered its final Learjets earlier this year. While its Challenger deliveries were up by four units compared to the first three quarters of 2021, it handed over seven fewer models from its Global factory. Embraer’s 2022 tally was off by two units, led by its delivery of eight fewer Phenom 300Es, while Honda Aircraft’s production of the light HondaJet was down by 13 percent. Dassault only reports delivery totals of Falcon jets in the second and fourth quarters.
Among the bizliner class aircraft, Airbus remained static with five deliveries, while Boeing, which had deliveries of two Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) during the first three quarters of 2021, had none this year.
In the turboprop segment, though total deliveries rose by 7.3 percent, the high-end pressurized subset only saw an increase of one aircraft year-over-year.
Pilatus, which handed over 56 of its single-engine PC-12s in the first three quarters of last year, delivered nine fewer copies this year, while Daher and Piper both delivered one fewer airplane between 2022 and 2021. The market was buoyed by Textron Aviation, which improved on its 2021 twin-engine King Air deliveries by six aircraft; by Epic, which doubled the output of its E1000 GX from five to 10, and by Piaggio, which had one Avanti Evo delivery this year, as compared to none last year.
Piston aircraft deliveries improved by 8.8 percent this year, rising to more than 1,000 deliveries during the first nine months of the year.
The rotorcraft market also showed improvement, with turbine helicopter deliveries up by more than 7 percent compared to 2021’s first three quarters. Robinson Helicopter saw deliveries of its R66 surge by more than 20 percent this year to 74 units, while Leonardo improved on its Q3 2021 totals by nearly 17 percent, delivering 26 AW119Kxs through the first three quarters of 2022 compared with just eight a year ago.
Bell also added to its year-over-year totals by eight helicopters, handing over nine additional light single-engine 505s than it did a year ago.
Airbus Helicopters deliveries dipped by three units, from 180 in the first nine months of 2021 to 177 over the same span this year. While it increased on some models, it handed over 15 fewer H125s (previously AS350) than it did last year.
Sikorsky delivered two of its medium twin-engine S-92s during the first three quarters of the year, one less than it did in the same span of 2021.
“Demand for general aviation aircraft remains hardy as our industry continues to strategically navigate ongoing challenges, which include issues with supply chain and workforce shortages within our industry and within global regulatory authorities,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce. “Deliveries are converging on, and in some cases surpassing, the levels we were experiencing prior to the pandemic, which is a testament to the strength of our industry and the importance and utility of general aviation.”