Gulfstream, Mitsubishi top survey results again
Gulfstream, the longtime leader in the AIN Product Support Survey, scored higher this year with an overall average 8.3 rating for its large-cabin jets (newer and older aircraft), although after a large jump last year, Embraer is creeping even closer to the top spot, up 0.1 to 8.2 from last year’s 8.1.
Last year, Cessna claimed the third-place spot with a 7.7 overall average (tied with Bombardier’s Challengers), but Bombardier’s Learjet division leapfrogged over Cessna this year with a 7.9 that carried Learjet into third place. Nevertheless, Cessna did improve this year to an overall average of 7.8 and fourth place, climbing 0.1 over last year.
Gulfstream’s midsize jets climbed by 0.2 points, to 7.7 and fifth place this year, the same position the aircraft held last year. Dassault Falcon’s overall average dropped 0.1 to 7.5 this year, not enough to push past Bombardier’s Challenger and Global models, which tied at 7.6 and sixth place.
The former Hawker Beechcraft jets dropped to an overall average of 6.9, likely further reflection of the challenges the manufacturer faced as it went through bankruptcy, emerging earlier this year as Beechcraft, no longer a jet maker, and focused on the King Air turboprop twins, piston airplanes and military turboprop trainers. Perhaps reflective of Beechcraft’s renewed focus, the King Air line saw a 0.2 point improvement from last year, with this year’s overall average at 7.2. That still wasn’t enough to move up from third place, however.
Pilatus Aircraft saw a significant jump in its overall average, up half a point to 7.9 from last year’s 7.4, but still not enough to budge turboprop-category favorite Mitsubishi off its longtime first-place perch. This year, the MU-2 manufacturer’s overall average climbed 0.1 to 9.4, the highest rating received by any aircraft manufacturer in the 2013 survey.
In the rotorcraft arena, overall averages in this year’s survey unaccountably dropped, but Bell Helicopter retained its lead with a rating of 7.1, followed by AgustaWestland at 6.5, both enjoying the same ranking as last year. Sikorsky and Eurocopter switched places, with Sikorsky moving up to third place and Eurocopter dropping to fourth.
While there are other manufacturers of jets and pressurized turboprops, not enough ratings were received from AIN readers to include them in the overall average results. Some of these manufacturers did, however, respond to AIN’s request for information about product-support improvements, and these are covered in the “Manufacturers outline support improvements” story on page 22.
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