High Performance Piston Single-Engine Market Share 2013

What’s the market share among high performance piston single-engine airplanes? Last year, GAMA reported 831 piston single-engine planes shipped which included tail wheel and light sport aircraft. From that 831 total, 371 were in the class I’d call high performance “4-seat” personal transportation aircraft.

Based on an analysis of 2013 GAMA reported shipments, high performance “4-seat” aircraft by Cirrus, Cessna and Bonanza represented 45% of all piston single-engine shipments, which affirmed, the majority of 4-seat GA buyers are in the market for high performance planes. Fewer pilots are shopping 4-seat planes with less than 200 hp.

My focus here is a comparison of certified 4-seat high performance piston single-engine general aviation planes, not tail wheel, 2-seat or Light Sport Aircraft, which are included in GAMA’s 831 total piston single-engine shipments for 2013.

Yes, several of these planes, like the Cirrus and Bonanza have more than 4-seats but they are all in a similar buyer market segment.

Composite Technically Advanced Aircraft (TAA) dominate 4-seat high performance single-engine shipments and attained an 80% market share last year.

In 2013, advanced composite plane designs in this segment from Cirrus Aircraft and Cessna Corvalis held a 74% and 6% respective market share. The trend is clear, putting high-tech gear in 40-year-old aluminum designs is not winning market share.

Cirrus Aircraft Cessna Cessna Beachcraft
Year SR22,SR20 Mkt. % Corvalis Mkt. % All 182s Mkt. % Bonanza Mkt. % Total
2013  276 74%  21 6% 39 11% 35 9%  371
2012  253 76%  1 0% 67 20% 12 4%  333
2011  255 71%  1 0% 77 22% 24 7%  357
2010  264 67%  8 2% 100 25% 22 6%  394
2009  266 55%  46 10% 133 28% 36 7%  481
2008  542 57%  124 13% 214 23% 63 7%  943
2007  700 65%  2 0% 301 28% 73 7%  1,076

 Source: GAMA.aero

Aircraft purchase trends among 4-seat piston single-engine buyers has shifted during the past 7 years.  This is reflected in new shipments and previously owned aircraft buying patterns as well.

More than a decade ago, composite materials were utilized in Burt Rutan’s design of SpaceShipOne, and the craft was piloted into multiple flight records, and achieved the first private enterprise flight into space during the year 2004.

Advanced composite materials offer a palette of creative possibilities to innovators which can help to reinvigorate and attract the next generation of GA flyers.  Make no small plans.

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