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Wichita planemakers see deliveries fall in first quarter

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, May 1, 2014, at 4:51 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, July 16, 2014, at 6:44 a.m.

Deliveries of general aviation piston-powered airplanes and business jets rose in the first three months of the year, although turboprop shipments fell, according to just-released figures.

Wichita manufacturers delivered fewer planes in the quarter, however.

Together, the Wichita planemakers shipped 130 general aviation planes during the quarter, down from 146 for the same time a year ago.

Beechcraft deliveries fell from 56 in the first three months of 2013 to 31 this year.

Cessna, meanwhile, delivered 93 planes in first quarter of 2014, up from 87 for the same time a year ago.

And Learjet shipments from Bombardier Learjet in Wichita, rose from three in the first quarter last year to six this year.

Delivery figures were released Thursday by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, an industry trade group.

Shipments of piston planes rose 21 percent from 182 a year ago to 221 in the first quarter of 2014.

Business jet shipments rose 19 percent from 129 last year to 154 during the first quarter of this year.

Turboprop deliveries, meanwhile declined 8 percent, from 136 in the first quarter a year ago to 125 this year.

“The (general aviation) manufacturing industry’s first-quarter numbers in 2014, especially the strong showing in the piston segment, are encouraging and show that we continue to climb our way out of the recession,” GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce said in a statement. “But we remain a long way out of the woods as shown by the mixed performance among sectors.”

GAMA officials continue to lobby government regulators and lawmakers for tax laws and policies that they say would stimulate manufacturing jobs. Among the issues on which GAMA is focusing, Bunce said in the statement, is certification reform and re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @mmcmillin.

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