• The Piper 100 is based on the venerable PA28 airframe. (Piper Aircraft)
    The Piper 100 is based on the venerable PA28 airframe. (Piper Aircraft)

GA aircraft deliveries for the first quarter of 2021 have achieved the same levels for Q1 2020, a period before the full impacts of the coronavirus pandemic materialised.

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released Q1 2021 figures last night that show a 7.3% increase in piston aeroplanes deliveries and an 18.3% increase for turbo-prop aircraft.

According to GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce, the results are cause for optimism even though the industry is still facing challenges.

"The first quarter of 2021 shows progress for the industry," he said. "It is encouraging to see manufacturers begin to bounce back from the impacts of the pandemic. Although, we are not yet in the clear. The industry continues to face headwinds, especially with ongoing supply chain issues and pandemic related restrictions and constraints to global travel.

"It is important that we continue working with governments to assist in strengthening our supply chain, safely easing travel related restrictions and protecting our highly skilled workforce."

The piston-engine performance can be attributed largely to the Cirrus SR20 and SR22/T, which recorded growth figures of 38% and 100% year-on-year respectively, complemented by the Diamond DA40, which returned 29% growth.

Conversely, Cessna's C172SP was down 44% on last year, although it still led the trainer market for the quarter. Piper's Archer III was down 28%, but the new Piper Pilot 100 entered the charts for the first time with the first three deliveries made in Q1 2021.

Most telling, not a single G36 Bonanza or G58 Baron was delivered for the quarter, which casts a larger shadow over the future of both models. Cirrus' SR22/T continued its dominance of the high-speed single market with 54 airframes shipped. The G36 had plenty of mates: the C182T, Piper M350 and Mooney Ovation all failed to trouble the scorers for the quarter as well, leaving the Cirrus as the only airframe delivered in the sector.

The piston twin market could be described as flat at best. Only Diamond's DA42 returned better quarterly figures than last year with the 13 shipments representing a 30% increase. No other piston twin showed growth for the quarter.

Piper's stocks were boosted with good returns for the Piper M600; the six airframes delivered was double the result for the same period last year.

Daher had a good quarter in the SETP market with Kodiak 100, of which five were shipped compared to none for Q1 2020, and the TBM 940, which was 75% up on last year. Most interestingly, Daher has reported that all TBM sales were for the new 940 HomeSafe version, which is fitted with Garmin Autoland technology.

The single-pilot jet market suffered in Q1, with results from the Citation M2 (up 133%) and the Phenom 100/300 (up 100%) balancing the disappointing figures for the HondaJet (down 29%), the SF50 Vision (down 61%) and the Pilatus PC-24 (down 57%).

With Pacific Aerospace going through a period of administration and Mahindra ceasing production of the GippsAero GA8, it is not surprising that these two models recorded no shipments again.

Major Aircraft Shipments Q1 2021

Aircraft Q1 2021 Q1 2020 Change
Piper Pilot 100 3 - -
Cessna C172SP 27 48 -44%
Piper Archer III 13 18 -28%
Diamond DA40 18 14 29%
Cirrus SR20 16 8 100%
Tecnam P2010 9 8 13%
Cessna C182T 0 2 -100%
Beech G36 Bonanza 0 2 -100%
Cirrus SR22/T 54 39 38%
Piper M350/Matrix 0 0 -
Mooney Ovation/Acclaim 0 0 -
Beech G58 Baron 0 2 -100%
Piper Seminole 2 4 -50%
Piper Seneca V 0 0 -
Diamond DA42 13 10 30%
Tecnam P2006T 6 8 -25%
Diamond DA62 4 5 -20%
Cessna Caravan Series 7 5 40%
Quest Kodiak 100 5 0 -
Pilatus PC12 7 11 -36%
Daher TBM 900 Series 7 4 75%
PAC 750XL 0 0 -
Piper Meridian/M500/M600 6 3 100%
Cessna Mustang & M2 7 3 133%
Embraer Phenom 100 & 300 10 5 100%
Honda HA420 5 7 -29%
SF50 Vision 7 18 -61%
Pilatus PC24 3 7 -57%
Cessna T206H 6 0 -
GippsAero Airvan 8 0 0 -
  231 231 0%
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