Tom Horne

Switcheroo

April 10, 2008 by Thomas A. Horne, Editor At Large

I went strolling and polling today.

Here’s the big consensus: Foreign sales have switched places with domestic sales. Five years ago, 70-80 percent of sales went to the U.S. market. The rest went overseas.

Today, 70+ percent of sales–piston and turbine–are now to foreign customers. And domestic sales seem to have slumped.

Sure Cessna sells a lot of piston singles, but how many are to Europe and Asia? And how long will it be before their demand for lightplanes is sated?

The pull across the oceans is increasing. Diamond has built a factory in China. Cessna’s SkyCatchers will be also be built in the Middle Kingdom. Russia will build Eclipse jets. Eastern European nations and the Ukraine are home to many light sport designs.

Is the U. S. losing its GA mojo?

 

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