As popular as some jets may be, such as the Gulfstream G650/G650ER and the Bombardier’s Global 7500, another business jet is proving that bigger isn’t always better when it comes to attracting potential buyers. Throughout the first three quarters of 2018, Cirrus SF50 – aka the Vision Jet – became the world’s most delivered business jet. According to the numbers General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) collected and published, Cirrus shipped 41 examples worldwide of the SF50 through the end of September.
The SF50 is the only Federal Aviation Administration–certified single-engine jet, designed for owner-pilots seeking to upgrade from a turboprop. Robb Report notes its relatively simple to fly, being just under 31 feet long – at least 10 feet shorter than any other business jet in service. The total number of deliveries increased from three in 2016, when the aircraft went into service, to twenty-two last year.
The Vision Jet has a slight advantage this year over the defending champion for most deliveries, the Bombardier Challenger 350. In total, Bombardier shipped 40 examples of its super-midsize business jet, while only 34 were delivered by this time last year. However, a successful fourth quarter pushed the total to 56 for the year.
Worldwide, business jet shipments overall increased from 433 through the first three quarters of 2017 to 446 through Q3 of this year, according to GAMA, an international trade organization for companies that build general-aviation aircraft. In addition, the number of deliveries of piston-engine airplanes, turboprops, and helicopters also increased, compared to last year’s three-quarters figures.
“This is one of those few times since the Great Recession that we have seen all segments up in shipment numbers,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said in a press release. “While there remain some soft spots in a few segments, including business jet deliveries, and impacts being felt from global trade disputes, I’m optimistic about our industry’s performance in 2019 given continuing healthy demand for tax expensing, stabilization of the used market, and the number of new products being introduced to the marketplace.”