General aviation up in third quarter

Nov. 9--Deliveries of business jets and turboprops worldwide rose in the third quarter, according to a report released Thursday.

Piston airplane shipments, however, fell for the third straight quarter.

General aviation manufacturers shipped 1,026 aircraft in the quarter, up 2 percent from the 1,005 shipped during the same time a year ago, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

Manufacturers delivered 631 single- and multi-engine piston airplanes in the quarter, down from 693 a year ago.

Turboprop shipments totaled 111, up from 98 for the quarter last year; business jet deliveries totaled 284, up from 214 from a year ago.

Wichita's planemakers shipped 40 percent of the world's general aviation aircraft in the quarter.

Hawker Beechcraft Corp. shipped 106 planes during the quarter compared with 94 last year.

Bombardier Aerospace delivered 20 Wichita-assembled Learjets, up from 17 a year ago.

And Cessna delivered 280 airplanes, up from 275 a year ago.

Delivery of Cessna's single-engine piston airplanes -- which are assembled in Independence -- have fallen this year, however.

Company spokesman Doug Oliver attributes much of the decline to an interruption in deliveries caused by problems Garmin had with its G1000 integrated avionics system. Cessna used the G1000 in its single-engine planes.

Flooding around Independence also affected production, Oliver said.

The company remains on schedule to deliver about 800 single-engine piston airplanes this year, Oliver said.

"We're still on track for another good year and meeting our targets," Oliver said.

During the third quarter, Cessna delivered 155 piston planes, down from 188 last year.

For the year, Cessna's piston aircraft shipments are down about 100 aircraft from a year ago. Cessna delivered 507 piston planes during the first nine months of the year, compared with 608 a year ago.

"All indications point to a continued strong market across the board for Cessna and for other manufacturers as well," Oliver said.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or []

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