Aerospace Market News is now very different to the first issue published in September 1995. Today it comes out every month and is sent by email. Back in 1995 we ran pages off the office printer and copies were glued together with a thermal binder on the kitchen table. Then the hand-addressed envelopes were taken to our local sub post office on a child’s pushchair and plastered with stamps. Eventually, when the circulation allowed it, the copies were produced by a digital print company with proper covers, bright red. Customers called them the red books. Back then it was a quarterly and it soon got to the stage where we had to hire a van to pick up the boxed copies from the printer.
What hasn’t changed is the original idea to put together accurate figures relating to aircraft and engine production rates, orders, deliveries and backlogs, by aircraft and engine program. A fairly standard format, updated every month. No advertising and no sponsorship. That was our business model and we had done it before, with other industries.
The aircraft and engine companies were sceptical at first, then enormously supportive. Suppliers to the industry told us that what they wanted was a report that had all the numbers relating to aircraft and engine programs, in one place, so that they could see market potential or the lack of it. The key thing was that nobody had put all the figures together before and there was industry demand for just that.
Something that has changed over the years is the scale of the industry. In the mid-90’s there were just a few thousand aircraft on backlog and now there are over 14,000. Aircraft and engine production was a fraction of what it is now. In 1995 an order for more than 10 aircraft was a big order. Earlier this year a single customer ordered 500 aircraft and, in the same month, another customer ordered 470 aircraft.
There is just so much more to keep up with today.
Philip G. Abbott, Editor & Publisher.