A report released Friday afternoon showed the first quarter of the year was mixed for Wichita’s general aviation aircraft makers Bombardier and Textron Aviation.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association’s First Quarter 2016 Shipment Report said Bombardier delivered 14 fewer business jets — including only one Wichita-built Learjet — and had lower billings than in the same quarter a year ago.
But while Textron Aviation saw fewer total aircraft deliveries — including one less Cessna Citation business jet than a year ago — its Beechcraft unit delivered more airplanes than it did in the first quarter of 2015, and total billings for Textron were up 14 percent in the same period.
Bombardier saw lower shipments across all its business jet models except for its Challenger 350, which was flat compared with last year. In the quarter, Bombardier shipped 31 jets compared with 45 in the first quarter of 2015. Billings totaled $1.27 billion in the first quarter of 2016 compared with $1.65 billion in the year-ago quarter.
At Textron Aviation, Cessna Aircraft’s shipments totaled 73, down from 90 aircraft in the first quarter of 2015. The totals include all of Cessna’s piston and turboprop airplanes, and business jets. The total number of business jets shipped in the period was 34 compared with 35 a year ago. Citation jet shipments were highest for its CJ4, XLS-Plus and the Latitude, certification and deliveries of which began in the second half of 2015.
Airplane deliveries at Beechcraft swung higher, however. The subsidiary of Textron Aviation delivered 37 turboprops and pistons in the first quarter of 2016. That was five more than the 32 airplanes it delivered in the same period last year.
Textron Aviation’s billings also rose to $621.3 million compared with $542.5 million in the first quarter of 2015.
Local aircraft manufacturers’ results largely mirrored the industry in the first quarter, the GAMA report said.
For the general aviation industry as a whole, first quarter 2016 shipments of pistons, turboprops and jets were down as were billings.
Among shipments, manufacturers worldwide delivered two fewer piston airplanes, eight fewer turboprops and six fewer business jets, according to the report.
And total billings were $4 billion compared with $4.4 billion in the first quarter of 2015.
“The entire industry is feeling the impact of retrenchment in the energy sector as well as global geopolitical and economic insecurity,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said in a news release Friday. “Despite these headwinds, our industry continues to invest in research, development, and certification of more efficient and safe products. Therefore, actions taken by elected officials to stimulate R&D and improve regulator efficiency have a far-reaching impact on the economy.”