Local plane deliveries down in 3rd quarter

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Nov. 10--Wichita planemakers Cessna Aircraft, Hawker Beechcraft and Bombardier Learjet delivered 150 general aviation aircraft in the third quarter, down from 258 a year ago.

That's a drop of 42 percent. General aviation airplane shipments by all manufacturers fell 23 percent in the quarter to 420 aircraft.

Billings in the quarter totaled $4.066 billion, down from $4.435 billion a year ago.

"Despite another drop in total shipments and billings, we believe that the longer-term outlook for general aviation is positive," General Aviation Manufacturers Association president and CEO Pete Bunce said in a statement.

"Our industry is coming off of a successful National Business Aviation Association convention, and we are encouraged by the sales announcements and a more positive outlook overall as discretionary spending starts to pick back up on a global level."

Bunce said he's especially encouraged by the investment manufacturers are making in the research and development of new products.

"Recovery indicators continue to fluctuate, but one positive indicator -- the investment in new airplanes and technology -- is solid, Bunce said. "GA manufacturers are clearly looking toward the future and will be poised for a strong return when the economy fully recovers."

Bombardier Learjet delivered four Learjets in the third quarter, down from 10 a year ago. Cessna delivered 103 airplanes, compared with 191. And Hawker Beechcraft shipped 43 general aviation aircraft, compared with 57 a year ago.

Hawker Beechcraft also delivered 26 military aircraft in the quarter, down from 34.

During the first nine months of the year, general aviation manufacturers worldwide delivered 1,357 planes, down about 15 percent from 1,588 planes a year ago. Billings for the first three quarters totaled $13.47 billion, down 3 percent from $13.82 billion.

Piston deliveries have fallen 7 percent this year to 634 planes.

Turboprop deliveries are down 21 percent with 232 airplanes shipped, and business jet shipments are down 20 percent with 491 aircraft delivered.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com.

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