By Long Luo
In this article, we provide a breakdown of the major aircraft manufacturers and their prominent airplane models. We offer two lists of the top 10 aircraft manufacturers. The first list of the top 10 aircraft manufacturers pertains to commercial aircraft manufacturers. Then, the second list of the top 10 aircraft manufacturers concerns to business and private aircraft manufacturers.
Next, we provide a list of the top three jet engine manufacturers. These aircraft engine manufacturers produce engines for various aircraft manufacturers in the USA. German aircraft manufacturers and European aircraft manufacturers also use these engines. Then we’ll discuss how Assets America® can help you purchase aircraft. Finally, we’ll answer a couple of frequently asked questions about aircraft manufacturers.
This is a general introduction to the top 10 commercial aircraft manufacturers. In particular, we’ll address factors such as aircraft quality, sales, and reputation.
Boeing, headquartered in Chicago, is the largest of the commercial aircraft manufacturers. In 2018, it produced 806 commercial aircraft and 96 military aircraft. Furthermore, it earned revenue of $101.127 billion in 2018, for a net income of $10.46 billion. Importantly, it employs more than 150,000 workers, has total assets in excess of $117 billion, and $410,000 in equity.
The Boeing Commercial Aircraft division builds the company’s commercial aircraft — jet airliners and business jets. Specifically, the division headquarters resides in Renton, Washington. Note that its commercial airliners maintain the 7X7 naming convention, from 707 through 787.
Boeing and Airbus are a duopoly controlling the worldwide supply for large commercial jets. Boeing’s output includes narrow-body, wide-body, and jumbo aircraft.
Until recently, Boeing commercial aircraft had a good reputation for qualify and safety. However, hardware and software problem in the 737 Max and 737 NG lines of jets caused a couple of crashes and grounded the fleet. Unquestionably, this has given Boeing a public relations black eye.
In 2019, Boeing’s aircraft shipments are far behind those for 2018. Naturally, one big reason for the shipment slump is that it suspended 737 Max deliveries after the two crashes.
Airbus is the other major manufacturer of large commercial aircraft along with Boeing. Notably, its headquarters reside in Leiden in the Netherlands. Interestingly, it offers a lineup of 11 commercial aircraft with the A2XX or A3XX naming convention. In 2018, it earned revenues of €63.70 billion ($70.58 billion) and net income of €3.05 billion ($3.38 billion).
Specifically, about 74% of Airbus revenues stem from its commercial aircraft division. Indeed, analysts expect Airbus to edge out Boeing as the top commercial aircraft manufacturer. As of 2018, Airbus had more than 133,000 employees. To be sure, Airbus, founded in 1970, is a consortium with 36% owned by France, Germany, and Spain.
Clearly, Airbus has a large presence in the North American market. For example, North American customers purchased about 2,000 of the 5,300 jets sold by Airbus. Currently, Airbus delivers 60 aircraft/month, and hopes to deliver 63/month by 2021.
Airbus will probably pull ahead of Boeing as the number one manufacturer by 2020. The Airbus A380 superjumbo jet competes head-to-head with the Boeing 737. In fact, the 380 outsells the 737, partly due to its flexible choice of engines.
Embraer is a Brazilian manufacturer of commercial aircraft, headquartered in Sao Paulo. It also manufactures military, agricultural, and executive aircraft. In 2018, Embraer had revenues of $5.071 billion and a net loss of $18.1 million. Notably, it delivered 90 commercial jets in 2018, with an order backlog worth $16.3 billion.
Embraer’s major products are the ERJ, E-Jet, and E-Jet E2 series of narrow-body jets. In terms of passenger capacity, these jets seat:
ERJ: 37 to 50 passengers
E-Jet: 66 to124 passengers
E-Jet E2: 80 to 146 passengers
These are twin-engine jets with short-to-medium flying ranges. In February 2019, Embraer entered into a joint venture with Boeing. Explicitly, the new venture, called Boeing Brasil-Commercial, belongs 80% to Boeing to 20% Embraer.
Notably, the merger includes only the commercial division of Embraer, which will retain its executive business jet business. Unsurprisingly, analysts see the merger as a reaction to the Airbus-Bombardier merger in 2017.
Embraer claims to be the leader in the sub-150-seat jetliner market, which 100 operators fly. The biggest of its commercial jetliners is the E-Jet E2 family, composed of the E175, E190, and E195-E2 jets. Note that these are medium-range jet airliners, launched in 2013 at the Paris Air Show.
Bombardier is a Canadian aircraft manufacturer founded in 1989. Indeed, in 2017, Airbus took a 50.1% majority stake in Bombardier. It manufactures the CSeries jet airliner that Airbus markets as the 130-passenger A220. Importantly, Airbus can buy out the rest of Bombardier in 2024. However, the CSeries product must remain in Canada through 2041.
In 2019, Bombardier divested its Q400 aircraft program, of which 41 aircraft are on order. Impressively, the 84-seat Q400 is the world’s largest commercial turboprop plane and is a staple model for Alaska Airlines.
Bombardier earned 2018 revenues of 1.8 billion for commercial aircraft sales, a 24% year-over-year slump. Tellingly, it delivered 35 aircraft in 2018 vs 56 in 2017. Moreover, it received in 2018 47 orders for commercial aircraft, creating a backlog of 97. In 2019, Bombardier expects to deliver 35 commercial aircraft.
Notably, in June 2019, Bombardier sold its remaining regional jet business to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for $550 million. In addition, Mitsubishi assumed $200 million in Bombardier debt.
Clearly, the sale represents an end to its commercial aircraft competition with Airbus and Boeing. Instead, it will focus on trains and private planes. However, it will continue to assemble regional jets for Mitsubishi through mid-2020.
Comac, which stands for Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, started business in Shanghai, China in 2008. To no one’s surprise, the Chinese state owns Comac. Specifically, Comac designs and builds large airliners seating more than 150 passengers. Logically, China established Comac as a way to reduce its dependence on Airbus and Boeing.
Interestingly, its two first aircraft are the ARJ21 and the C919, with seating for up to 168 passengers. In fact, the single-aisle C919 competes with the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.
Nevertheless, future plans call for two wide-body, twin-engine, twin-aisle, long-rang jets. First is the C929 with a passenger capacity between 250 and 290. Second is the C939 that will hold 390 to 400 passengers.
At the start of 2019, Comac had registered more than 1,000 orders for the C919. Impressively, this plane has a flight range up to 3,450 miles. While manufactured in China, the C919 components flow mostly from Western sources.
Incredibly, analysts predict that, by 2037, Comac will provide transportation for 1.6 billion passengers per year.
Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation (MAC) will build the Mitsubishi SpaceJet passenger airliners. MAC is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, with investments from Toyota, Sumitomo, and Mitsui. Headquartered in Komaki, Japan, MAC came into being in 2008.
As we mentioned above, Mitsubishi acquired the Bombardier CRJ program, which will boost the SpaceJet program. In fact, MAC may build the SpaceJet at Bombardier facilities in Canada.
MAC designed the SpaceJet with assistance from Subaru Corporation. For the record, its maiden flight was in November 2015, as the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ).
Expect a 76-seat M90 version, and a lighter version, the 88-seat M100, with a range of 1,910 nautical miles. Critically, M90 delivery should begin in the middle of 2020, while the M100 will enter service in 2023 or 2024.
UAC (United Aircraft Corporation) is a Russian aircraft manufacturer established in 2006 by decree of Vladimir Putin. Specifically, it produces airliners, cargo planes, military aircraft, and special-purpose aircraft. Indeed, UAC employs 100,000 workers.
To be sure, UAC’s first airliners were Tupolev and Ilyushin models, holdovers from the Soviet Union. Indeed, the first UAC model from the Russian Federation was the Ilyushin Il-96, but UAC only produced 30.
Today, UAC produces the Tupolev Tu-214, a modern, narrow-body, medium-range jet with a glass cockpit and fly-by-wire controls.UAC builds the Tu-214 in the Russian city of Ulyanovsk. Notably, Kazan Aircraft produces the same plane in Kazan, Russia. Also, UAC can produce the Ilyushin Il-114, a regional turboprop, but production is currently suspended.
UAC exports the Sukhoi Superjet 130, a competitor for the Bombardier CSeries and Embraer E-Jet. Impressively, it is developing the Irkut MC-21, its most modern effort to date. Indeed, the MC-21 will compete the Airbus A320 and Boeing B737.
Moreover, other planned products are the 52-seat Il-114-300 regional turboprop and the CRAIC CR-929, a wide-body twinjet seating 416. Understand that CRAIC is a joint venture of UAC and Comac.
Aviastar-SP is the Russian manufacturer of the Tupolev Tu-204. Historically, Aviastar-SP started in 1976 as the Ulyanovsk Aviation Production Complex in the city of Ulyanovsk. However, they renamed it Aviastar-SP in 1991.
Notably, the company produces a long-range heavy transport aircraft and the Tu-204 jetliner. Aviastar-SP started producing the Tu-204 in 1995. This is a medium-range, twin-engined jet seating 210 passengers. Aviastar-SP shares production of the Tu-204 with the Kazan Aircraft Production Association.
The Tu-204SM, which competes with the Boeing 757, started production at the end of 2010. Indeed, it is one of numerous Tu-704 variants previously or currently in production.
Critically, the Tu-204SM meets international standards such as Eurocontrol and ICAO. It has a two-pilot cockpit, upgraded systems, new displays, and an electronic flight bag (an electronic information management gadget).
The Tu-204SM has two PS-90A2 engines featuring a unified twin-spool turbofan. No doubt, this is a reliable and efficient improvement over an earlier model. Stunningly, the cost of one ranges from $40 to $47 million.
Kazan Aircraft Production Association (KAPA)
The Kazan Aircraft Production Association is a historic aviation factory in Kazan, Russia. Established in 1927 as a joint venture with Junkers, KAPA has built 34 types of aircraft throughout the years.
Today, Kazan produces the Tupolev Tu-214. The Tu-214 is a modern, narrow-body, medium-range jet with a glass cockpit and fly-by-wire controls.
Kazan, along with UAC, also produces the Tu-204, a variant with a lower gross weight. For what it’s worth, the Russian airline service Rossiya flies the Tu-214.
GippsAero is an Australian producer of aircraft, founded in 1977. India’s Mahindra Aerospace owns GippsAero, which builds the GA8 Airvan, a small commercial and utility aircraft. Specifically, the piston-engined GA8 seats eight passengers and provides reliable transportation for short flights and service to remote areas.
Excitingly, GippsAero has developed a newer model, the GA10 Airvan, a single-engine turboprop with room for 10 occupants. Indeed, in 2018, Major Blue Air of Botswana became the GA10’s first customer.
This is a list of the top 10 private aircraft manufacturers, including business and corporate jets.
Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) is a business unit of Airbus that produces corporate jets derived from airliners. To be sure, it is located in Toulouse, France and builds a range of single-aisle jets.
Indeed, ACJ markets its products as the world’s most modern and comprehensive corporate jets. Flexibly, they feature spacious and customizable cabins that allow you to select a size that suits your needs. Doubtlessly, ACJ customers benefit from access to the Airbus global support network.
Historically, ACJ introduced the A318 corporate jet in 1997. Currently, 213 ACJ jets are in operation, and another 222 aircraft are on order. ACJ manufactures narrow-bodied aircraft based on the Airbus A320 family. Happily, you can buy a corporate version of any A320 model, including the ACJ319, ACJ320.
Note that these models carry the “neo” nomenclature denoting “new engine option.” Impressively, they have roughly triple the cabin space as that found in traditional business jets.
ACJ also produces the ACJ330neo and ACJ35-XWB VIP widebody jets based on Airbus airliners. To be sure, both offer considerable space and luxury, with the latter featuring carbon composite materials. Indeed, you can flexibly configure ACJ jets to include fully equipped offices, beds, bathrooms, and shower areas.
Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) produces VIP corporate jets based on Boeing airliners, primarily the 737 series. Typically, BBJ jets offer large cabins, long flying ranges, and seating for 25 to 50 passengers in luxurious configurations. Clearly, these jets are highly customizable for the business, private, or governmental sectors, with good records for reliability.
Impressively, BBJ models can include conference/dining areas, bedrooms, washrooms with showers, and living areas. Other models are variants of the 777, 787 and 747. Altogether, BBJ produces 11 jets models in both narrow-body and wide-body versions.
For 2018, BBJ had 261 orders, 237 deliveries, and 210 jets in service. In 2018. BBJ launched the BBJ 777X that can fly half way around the globe before refueling. Indeed, that’s the longest distance available from any business jet. Clearly, for many corporations with international business, the BBJ 777X solves the problem of efficient travel.
Specifically, the BBJ 777X class includes the BBJ 777-8 and BBJ 777-9. The 777-8 has the longer flying range (11,645 nautical miles) and 3,256 square feet of cabin space. In contrast, the 777-9 has more cabin space (3,689 square feet) and a 11,000-nautical-mile flying range.
The portfolio of BBA business jets includes the Learjet, Challenger, and Global families.
The Learjet 75 is a light business jet featuring modern avionics, an efficient engine, and canted winglets. Importantly, it is the first Learjet with a private executive suite, and the size allows passengers to travel in comfort. Indeed, the advanced wing design provides a smooth ride and reduces operating costs.
The Challenger series includes the 350 and 650 models. Specifically, the 350 belongs to the super midsize category of jets. Over the last decade, the 350 has been the sales leader in its segment. In contrast, the 650 is a large business jet with worldwide reach and the widest cabin in its class.
The Global series contains the 5000, 5500, 6000, 6500, and 7500 models. BBA markets the 7500 as the world’s largest business jet with longest range. That pits it against the Boeing BBJ 777X model family. Impressively, the 7500 has room for four interior living spaces, a crew suite, and a full-size kitchen. Note that the 7500 is a stretched version of the 6000 but has a new transonic wing.
Beechcraft is a subsidiary of Textron Aviation, but started as the Beech Aircraft Corporation in 1932. Historically, Textron acquired Beech Aircraft in 2013 after the latter went bankrupt. Today, Beechcraft produces four lines of private aircraft:
Bonanza Series: Powered by a single piston engine, the Bonanza has been in continuous production since 1947. Beechcraft has produced more than 17,000 Bonanza planes in various configurations, including V-tail models. Impressively, the Bonanza G36 has a range of 920 nautical miles and can hold six occupants.
Baron: A twin-engined piston airplane first introduced in 1961. With room for eight, the Baron G58 can travel 1,480 nautical miles.
King Air: This is a family of twin-turboprop models, comprised of Models 90, 100, 250, and 350i.
T6 Texan II: This is a single-engine turboprop trainer.
Patriotically, Beechcraft builds its airplanes at its factory in Wichita, Kansas.
Cessna, founded in 1927, is another subsidiary of Textron and currently produces three lines of aircraft:
Citation: This line comprises several models, from the entry-level M2 to the recently certified Longitude. The Longitude is a stretched version of another Citation model, the Latitude, with a new swept wing and T-tail. Also, the Citation Sovereign+ holds 12 passengers and has a maximum range of 3,200 nautical miles.
Turboprop: Cessna’s single engine turboprop models are the Denali, Caravan, Grand Caravan EX, and SkyCourier. The Denali is a model with room for up to 11 occupants. Caravan offers rugged flexibility and utility for up to 14 occupants. Grand Caravan EX offers a maximum range of 964 nautical miles. SkyCourier can handle heavy payloads and up to 19 passengers.
Piston: The Skyhawk is a trainer with a sophisticated glass cockpit. Skylane, with a 230-horsepower engine, is a favorite first airplane for new pilots. The Turbo Stationair HD holds six occupants and features dual aft cargo doors.
Headquartered in Paris, Dassault’s history traces back to 1929 and founder Marcel Dassault. Specifically, it produces military and civil aircraft, the latter including the Falcon, Breguet, Hirondelle and Communaute.
Falcon is the primary family of business jets, dating back to the first delivery in 1965. Incredibly, Falcon jets have accumulated more than 18 million hours of flight time across 90 countries.
Current Falcon models include the 7X, 8X, 900, and 200. The 8X is the newest model, with a range of 6,450 nautical miles powered by three PW307D turbofans. Moreover, it can hold up to 16 passengers, two pilots and one crew member and achieve 516 knots.
Embraer Executive Jets, a subsidiary of the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer, offers four executive jet families:
Legacy: Offers three midsize business jets; the 450, 500 and 650E. The 450/500 pair were the first midsize Embraer models with fly-by-wire and a flat-floor, stand-up cabin. Even more impressively, the 650E offers a largest-in-class cabin and best-in-class warranty.
Praetor: The 500 and 600 are improved variants of the Legacy, selling for $17 and $21 million, respectively. The 500 seats 9 passengers with a cruise speed of 466 knots and a range of 3,340 nautical miles. In contrast, the 600 has the same cruise speed, but seats 12 passengers and can cover 4,018 nautical miles.
Lineage: The Lineage 1000 entered service in May 2009. Indeed, through the end of 2018, Embraer has built 28 1000’s, and you can buy one for $50 million. Moreover, it can hold 16 occupants, achieve a 472-knot cruise speed, and fly up to 4,600 nautical miles.
Phenom: The Phenom 100 is a light jet with more than 350 units in service. It can hold up to seven passengers and can accommodate an optional belted toilet. The Phenom 300 can hold 11 occupants and fly 1970 nautical miles.
Gulfstream Aerospace is a subsidiary of General Dynamics. For the record, it is located in Savannah, Georgia and employs 13,313 workers. Historically, it has been manufacturing business jets since 1958. Notably, all six Gulfstream jets hold up to 19 passengers, except for the 10-passenger G280.
The top of the line model is the Gulfstream G650ER, with a range of 7,500 nautical miles. Furthermore, it can accommodate up to 4 living areas and reach a top speed of 0.925 Mach. This model offers premium features, such as 100% fresh air replenishment every two minutes, quiet cabin, and panoramic windows.
If you can settle for a cruising range of 6,500 nautical miles, the G600 offers similar features and capabilities. Other models are the G550, G500, and the G280.
Stans, Switzerland is the headquarters for Pilatus Aircraft, which employs almost 2,000 workers. It builds several light personal jets in addition to short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft.
The PC-24 combines turboprop propulsion with a medium-size cabin and a range of 2,000 nautical miles. Furthermore, it accommodates 11 passengers and can land on runways only 2,375 feet long.
The PC-12 NG is a popular turbine-powered aircraft with low operating costs, single pilot operations, long-range, and high speed. Other models include the PC-6 STOL and three trainers.
Hawker is a subsidiary of Textron Corp that builds several business jets. The Hawker 4000 is a carbon composite model that can hold up to 14 occupants. It has six feet of standing room, with a range of 3,445 nautical miles and a cruise speed of 470 knots. Unfortunately, Textron cancelled most of the Hawker product line in 2013.
Jet Engine Manufacturers
The top three aircraft engine manufacturers are:
- General Electric: Located in the U.S., GE has the largest share of the turbofan market. It supplies engines to Boeing, Airbus, and military aircraft. Major models include the CF6, GE90, and the GEnx.
- Rolls Royce: The number two engine maker has headquarters in England. It is famous for its Trent and RB211 series. It makes engines for Airbus, Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Embraer, and others.
- Pratt & Whitney: The third-largest engine maker is a division of the American company United Technologies. It supplies more than 25 percent of the world’s passenger aircraft and services many aircraft manufacturers. The PW4000 series powers craft from Airbus, Boeing, and McDonnell Douglas.
Engine manufactures with smaller market shares are:
- CFM International
- Engine Alliance
- International Aero Engines
- Williams International
- Honeywell Aerospace
USA Aircraft Manufacturers
The top aircraft manufacturers USA situated are:
• Lockheed Martin
• Sikorsky Aircraft
• Gulfstream Aerospace
• GE Aviation
• United Technologies
Canada is the home of Bombardier.
German Aircraft Manufacturers
Germany is a partial owner of Airbus.
European Aircraft Manufacturers
France has the leading aircraft industry in Europe, including:
• Dassault Aviation
• Thales Group
The United Kingdom owns a portion of Airbus, and is home to:
• BAE Systems
• Leonardo Helicopters