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Turbo Deliveries: Flat- but encouraging

Why do turboprops seem to periodically enjoy better times than the jet and piston aircraft market segments? Perhaps it has something to do with owner-flying...

AvBuyer   |   1st April 2013
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The AvBuyer editorial team includes Matt Harris and Sean O'Farrell who contribute to a...
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Why do turboprops seem to periodically enjoy better times than the jet and piston aircraft market segments? Perhaps it has something to do with owner-flying...

While exceptions exist anywhere- generally turboprop airplanes offer a common set of attractive attributes. For example- Turboprop engines benefit today from propeller designs far more sophisticated than only a decade ago resulting in lower maintenance costs- longer overhaul cycles- improved climb and cruise performance- and in turn this contributes to reduced noise levels in the cabin.

In addition- specific fuel consumption numbers continue to improve- with the practical effect of allowing the use of higher-power levels without suffering a proportionate increase in fuel consumption/costs. That- in turn- contributes to improvements in takeoff- climb and cruise speed.

Another advantage is the single-pilot operational simplicity engineered into even the multi-engine turboprops. The only exceptions to the sum total of these benefits exist among the unpressurized models that are available- and form a small- important and dynamic segment of the turboprop market. Today’s turboprops offer a broad range of performance- with cabin and cockpit accoutrements that rival the best of the jet strata.

In terms of 2012 turboprop deliveries- Cessna was the leader by a wide margin with 107 deliveries. Hawker Beechcraft was a somewhat distant second with 85- down seven units from the year before. In its press conference at the NBAA Convention last fall- Hawker Beechcraft announced plans to reinvent itself when it emerges from bankruptcy as a turboprop and piston manufacturer. It will be interesting to see if it can reclaim its historical pole position in the turboprop segment.

Third in turboprop sales in 2012 was Pilatus with 67 units- down from 69 the year before. Socata (with 38) and Piper (with 32) both equalled their deliveries from the year before. A comprehensive analysis of all airplane deliveries for 2012 can be found in the March issue of World Aircraft Sales Magazine.

The following Turboprop Retail Price Guide represents current average values published in The Aircraft Bluebook – Price Digest. The study spans model years from 1994 through Spring 2013 (20 year period). Values reported are in US$ millions- with each reporting point representing the current average retail value published in the Bluebook by its corresponding calendar year. For example- the Socata TBM 850 reported in the Spring 2013 edition of the Bluebook show $1.9 million for a 2006 model- $2.0 million for a 2007 model and so forth. Aircraft are listed alphabetically. Aircraft specifications for the following models can be found in the Conklin & de Decker section of this issue beginning at page 82.

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