AIRCRAFT: Small Is Beautiful

In years of severe recession, consumers and businesses put off any purchases that they can, and hardly any purchase would seem more readily postponable than a private plane costing from $5,000 (for a used Piper Cub) to $1.6 million (for a new Learjet). But 1975 turned out to be the "general aviation" industry's best year ever. In the twelve months ended last September, sales of private planes jumped 12%, to just over $1 billion.

The private-plane boom has helped keep the unemployment rate in Kansas, where Cessna (1975 sales: $491 million) is the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!