General aviation aircraft billings rose by more than 5 percent to $9.1 billion from $8.6 billion, while business jet deliveries increased by nearly 10 percent in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period last year, according to statistics from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).
OEMs delivered 289 business jets in the first half of the year, paced by Textron Aviation, which improved its previous total by 15 additional aircraft deliveries equating to a 20 percent increase year-over-year. The Wichita airframer handed over eight more Citation Latitudes than it did in the first half of last year. Cirrus also increased the output of its single-engine SF50 Vision Jet by seven over last year, for a total of 30, and Honda Aircraft added four units to its 2021 total.
European manufacturers also showed improvement. Dassault more than doubled its output in the first half of the year. The French airframer did not disclose the types of the 14 jets it delivered in the first six months of 2022 but they accounted for a 133 percent increase over the previous first half. Pilatus handed over 19 of its PC-24 light jets through the first six months of 2022 compared to 15 the year previous.
Bombardier delivered five fewer of its Global family, resulting in an 11 percent reduction overall. The Canadian OEM ended Learjet production earlier this year, with the final three aircraft coming off the assembly line.
Savannah-based Gulfstream improved on its super-midsize G280 by three through the first six months of this year, but among its large cabin aircraft, it was five units off last year’s pace for a total of 47 deliveries. Embraer saw four fewer aircraft deliveries compared with the first half of 2021, a 12 percent decrease.
The turboprop market saw a boost of 11.8 percent compared to the first half of 2021. The higher-end, pressurized segment saw just one additional delivery from its first-half 2021 total of 95 aircraft.
Textron increased production of its King Airs, handing over seven more of the twin-engine aircraft than it did a year ago, while Oregon-based Epic Aircraft ramped up production of its single-engine E1000GX, delivering six in the first half of 2022 compared to just one E1000 through the first six months of last year. Pilatus remained nearly static on its PC-12s, delivering just one more this year than it did in the first half of 2021. Piper also boosted deliveries of its M500 and M600 turboprops by three units, and Italian airframer Piaggio delivered its first P.180 Avanti Evo in many months during the first half of this year.
Daher, which transitioned from the TBM 940 to the TBM 960, was the only one among the high-end turboprop makers to see its delivery totals decline as it ramped up production of the new model. The Tarbes, France-based manufacturer delivered 21 TBM 940s in the first half of 2021, but only five of the follow-on TBM 960 in the same period this year.
Deliveries of turbine-powered helicopters remained virtually static with the 257 handed over in the first half of this year representing just two fewer than in the first six months of 2021, a less than one percent decline. Robinson Helicopter increased production of its R66 to 47 from 42, while Leonardo delivered 43 helicopters in the first half of the year, adding one to its tally from last year. Sikorsky delivered two S-92s, an improvement of one over the first half of 2021.
Airbus Helicopters and Bell were both off their totals from last year's first half, down by one and eight units respectively. In the case of the latter, the 407GXi saw six fewer deliveries this year.
Piston-engined aircraft as well were up by 9.4 percent over 1H 2021 totals, rising from 583 units delivered to 638 through the first six months of this year.
“Since the initial setbacks of the pandemic, we have seen some segments make strides with growing backlogs and high rates of operations while others are still diligently working to navigate the path to recovery,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce. “Despite supply chain and workforce issues, our industry continues to make progress and strategically posture for the future, which is a true testament to our strength and durability.”