““[Bill Gates] has been historically one of my best supporters…One of my favorite e-mails he ever sent me…I proposed this crazy project. And he sent back this two-line response: ‘This has got to be the craziest thing you’ve ever suggested. Please proceed.’” ”
Jet Deliveries Soaring, Says Manufacturers' Association
First-quarter figures from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association show no signs that the business aviation industry is yet feeling the impact of a sagging U.S. economy. The 297 jets delivered in the first quarter of 2008 represent a 41-percent increase over the 211 deliveries for the same period in 2007, according to the Washington, D.C.-based association. According to GAMA president Pete Bunce, manufacturers continue to see a trend toward deliveries outside the U.S. and some expect international sales soon to exceed 70 percent of their business. At press time, GAMA had not yet compiled second-quarter figures, but both Textron (Cessna and Bell) and General Dynamics (Gulfstream) reported strong numbers.