Soar we now . . . 2019

Clouds rising. Tribute to Soar we now, Charles Wesley, 1739
Clouds rising. Tribute to “Soar we now . . . . ” Charles Wesley, 1739

It’s Good Friday.  I hope you can take some time off, rest this weekend, and indeed say  “Christ the Lord is Risen,”  As Charles Wesley wrote, circa 1739 –

Soar we now where Christ has led;
Following our exalted Head;
Made like him, like him we rise;
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies. Alleluia!

Your Glory hidden in creation is now revealed in Christ.

1 Cor. 15:1-8; & 12-28; 1 Tim 1:17

General Aviation Factoids 2019

The 2018 GAMA Annual Report carried many interesting facts.  Here are four that I’d like to share with you about General Aviation:

General Aviation

  • Flies to more than 5,000 U.S. public airports, but the scheduled airline carriers serve less than 400 of these locations.
  • Flies about 25 million flight hours, of which two-thirds are for business purposes in the United States.
  • Is the primary training ground for commercial airline pilots.
  • Supports $219 billion in total economic output and 1.1 million jobs in the United States.

General Aviation is defined as all aviation other than military and scheduled commercial airlines.

Reference: General Aviation Manufacturers Association Annual Report

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Here is a summary of single-engine piston shipments 2017-2018

These statistics are pulled from the 2018 GAMA annual report. Total single-engine piston shipments, including taildraggers and Light Sport Aircraft (LSA), increased from 936 to 954 or about 1.9%.

We’ve extracted the traditional “four-adult” single-engine piston shipments from the report to look at the changes. This group faired a little better, which saw deliveries increase from 763 to 781 or about 2.4% over the prior year. You can see the results by manufacturer in the table below.

Single-Engine Piston Shipments

Description20172018% Change
Cirrus SR22T, SR22, SR20        355         380 7%
Piper Archer & Arrrow          81         114 41%
Piper Malibu Mirage            9           20 122%
Cessna Skyhawk & Skylane        175         160 -9%
Cessna Turbo Stationair          40           32 -20%
Cessna TTx          23             1 -96%
Diamond DA40          60           45 -25%
Beachcraft A/G36          13           15 15%
Mooney Ovation & Acclaim            7           14 100%
Sub Total     763         781 2.4%
Taildraggers          48           38 -20.8%
LSA          90         103 14.4%
Other          35           32 -8.6%
Total Single-Engine Piston        936         954 1.9%

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Cirrus has the Best Selling Turbocharged Airplane

In 2019, Cirrus will surpass two-thousand (2,000) turbocharged airplane deliveries. Pilots’ desire for turbocharged power has carried the company past another milestone – Cirrus has more turbo deliveries than all other turbo single-engine manufactured planes combined since 2007.

In 2018, Cirrus sold 180 turbo SR22T planes.  Almost half of their piston engine deliveries are turbo. In just twelve years, customers have purchased more than 1,964 turbocharged planes from Cirrus. It’s the best selling turbo piston airplane.

Continuous improvements to the plane’s design have won customers over. Along with Cirrus, there are now only three other companies manufacturing traditional “four-adult” piston turbo single-engine planes. Currently, the Cirrus SR22T Turbo outsells the Piper Malibu Mirage 9:1 and the Cessna Turbo Stationair 6:1. 

The Cirrus “SR-series of high-performance piston airplanes are the best-selling aircraft in the world for [16] consecutive years – with over 7,260 aircraft operating in over 60 countries.”

Congratulations to the entire Cirrus Aircraft team.

Reference: GAMA.aero Annual Reports for piston-single engine shipments; and earlier turbo normalized (TAT) stats from Matt Bergwall, Cirrus Aircraft.

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Cirrus Outsells the Competition – 2018

In 2018, Cirrus Aircraft sold 380 piston-engine planes.  That’s up 7% over last year. The annual GAMA report shows Cirrus won half of the traditional “four-seat” (4-adult) airplane sales. Cirrus by design, has successfully resegmented the piston-engine market and separated their airplanes from the competition. 

The Cirrus SR22 outsells Beachcraft Bonanza 21:1. The Cirrus SR series wins 3:1 over Piper Archer and Arrow sales, and 2:1 over Cessna Skyhawk and Skylane sales.

The Cirrus “SR-series of high-performance piston airplanes are the best-selling aircraft in the world for [16] consecutive years – with over 7,260 aircraft operating in over 60 countries.”

Congratulations to the entire Cirrus Aircraft team.

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Connecting Aviators® and related marks and logos are property of wikiWings®

The Klapmeier Brothers Barnstormed the General Aviation Piston Market to Become the Dominate Leaders

Back in 1999, the General Aviation piston-engine market was ready for innovation.  And, the Klapmeier brothers barnstormed the industry with it to become the dominate leaders.  Cirrus by design, has segmented a high-end niche market away from its competitors. The 2018 GAMA report makes it clear to see if you categorize piston-engine shipments.

In business parlance it’s called market segmentation. All piston sales are not the same. Piper sales do not compete with Light Sport Aircraft (LSA).  Cessna sales don’t compete with taildragger shipments. These are very different customer markets within piston-engine airplane sales. And, a feature doesn’t create market segmentation. Segmentation is not achieved with a claim to “the fastest piston engine plane.”

The 2018 GAMA report shows Cirrus Aircraft won half of the traditional “four-seat” airplane sales. Cirrus has successfully separated their airplanes from the competition.

2018 Piston Single-Engine Shipments

Description2018%
Cirrus SR22 & SR20             380 49%
Piper Archer & Arrrow             114 15%
Piper Malibu Mirage               20 3%
Cessna Skyhawk & Skylane             160 21%
Cessna Turbo Stationair               32 4%
Diamond DA40               45 6%
Beachcraft A/G36               15 2%
Mooney Ovation & Acclaim               14 2%
Sub Total             780 100%
Taildraggers               38      –   
LSA             103      –   
Other               33      –   
Total Single-Engine Piston Shipments             954      –   

Cirrus has defined new airspace for single-engine competition.  Again, this year, hundreds of people are willing to stand in line for a new Cirrus piston-engine airplane and pay $1.0 million dollars each. Why? Has the pursuit of relentless innovation delivered that much product differentiation for Cirrus customers?

In many ways, the piston-engine market is still ready for innovation.  Archaic components remain and need to be upgraded. The market could very well be successfully segmented again or new markets might emerge – how about Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft. Who will be the next visionary to step forward?

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How many airplanes does Cirrus Aircraft sell per year – 2018?

In 2018, Cirrus Aircraft delivered 443 airplanes.  That’s an 18% increase over the previous year.  

Cirrus Design Corp. dba Cirrus Aircraft has been manufacturing planes since 1999. As of December 31, 2018 total customer shipments stand at 7,349. Details by the numbers are in the table below:

Total Cirrus Aircraft Shipments

YearSF50 JetSR22 TurboSR22SR20SRVTotal
2018           63                 180              135                65               –                443 
2017           22                 174              135                46               –                377 
2016              3                 149              133                35               –                320 
2015             –                   142              128                31               –                301 
2014             –                   160              117                31               –                308 
2013             –                   132              112                32               –                276 
2012             –                     88                81                84               –                253 
2011             –                   102              105                48               –                255 
2010             –                   107              115                42               –                264 
2009             –                   150                88                28               –                266 
2008             –                   250              177              115                7              549 
2007             –                   300              288              112              10              710 
2006             –                     30              535              150                6              721 
2005             –                       –                475              116                9              600 
2004             –                       –                459                91                3              553 
2003             –                       –                355              112                2              469 
2002             –                       –                292              105               –                397 
2001             –                       –                124                59               –                183 
2000             –                       –                    –                  95               –                  95 
1999             –                       –                    –                     9               –                     9 
Total           88             1,964          3,854          1,406              37          7,349 

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A different flight slope – 2019

This week I’m taking a break from general aviation to join up on a different flight slope – The ski slopes in Vail Colorado. It’s “high altitude” but my feet are still on the ground. We hope you can take some time off this season to rest and enjoy fellowship with family and friends.

2008 Cirrus Perspective SR22TN Turbo photo by wikiWings
2008 Cirrus Perspective SR22TN Turbo with TKS inadvertent de-icing system, photo by wikiWings

Blue sky!

How many SF50 Vision jets has Cirrus Aircraft shipped – 2018?

In 2018, Cirrus Aircraft delivered 63 Vision Personal Jets. That’s a 186% increase over the previous year. Total customer shipments stand at 88. Production is ramping up, but it will take years for supply to get ahead of demand.

The Cirrus Personal Jet was certified for customer delivers in October 2016.

Cirrus Vision SF50 Jet Shipments
Year Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet
2018  63
2017  22
2016  3
2015  –
Total  88

Source: GAMA.aero

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The GAMA 2019 State of the Industry press conference is next week

GAMA Chairman and Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. President Mark Burns and GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce will present the GAMA 2019 State of the Industry press conference on Wednesday February 20, 2019. They will also unveil the 2018 year-end aircraft shipment and billings numbers and discuss industry priorities for the year ahead.

We’ll summarize the general aviation shipments for piston engine planes, single prop turbines and light jets in future posts.