|BlueSky Business Aviation News|
These economic, brawny aircraft get the job done with little fuss. Getting in and out of small airports and airfields. Delivering right-sized performance for a host of uses.
A category defined by innovation
We love new, clean-sheet, built-for-business models such as the Cessna Denali and Piper M600 as well as legendary, super-efficient Grand Caravans and Mooney aircraft. Full confession. We became Mooniacs early in our career and just can’t get over our love affair with this Wichita-born, strong-as-steel heartthrob. The SETP category, though, has many aircraft to covet.
The Pilatus PC-12, manufactured in Switzerland, has become the world’s best-selling, pressurized SETP. Its development was announced at the 1989 NBAA convention, promising to fill a void in the market. Its economy, high value retention, versatility and reliability have helped do just that.
We’ve watched aviation seize upon the business uses of Quest Aircraft’s Kodiak, launched in 2007 for primarily humanitarian missions. This highly capable, versatile aircraft has done everything from deliver medical supplies in an earthquake’s aftermath to providing on-demand charter for entrepreneurs wanting an aerial SUV.
New engines on legacy turboprops add power for improved takeoff and climb, cruise speed, payload and hot-and-high performance. Similarly, the addition of glass cockpits and composite materials keep upping the game. Safety-focused Cirrus Aircraft continue to be the only SETPs with a parachute system as standard equipment.
SETP aircraft fill a unique role not efficiently served by helicopters or business jets. International owners are changing the game, too, as they capture new markets. (Setouchi Holdings of Japan bought the Pacific Northwest-based Quest in 2015; Meijing Group of China purchased Texas Hill Country-based Mooney in 2013; and the Chinese government became owners of Minnesota-based Cirrus Aircraft in 2011).
A marketplace with fierce allegiances
This summer’s 2017 EAA AirVenture fly-in included 60 Daher TBM aircraft, with eight of those from Europe and one from Brazil. It’s impressive that these TBMs made the long flight to Wittman Field in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, but it’s not surprising. The company’s history includes the first Mediterranean air crossing back in 1913. TBM certified the world’s first fully pressurized, SETP aircraft in 1990, the TBM 700A. The company’s continued to evolve and innovate. The TBM 930 is the latest version of the world’s fastest, certified SETP. For a week, the TBMs were part of 17,220 aircraft operations that made Wittman the world’s busiest airport - averaging more than 120 takeoffs and landings an hour.
In short, we’re fans of these multiuse workhorses. And, over the years, we’ve learned a thing or two about marketing them. They have their own niche and their own tribe. Tailor your outreach accordingly.
Brand loyalty rules
SETP owners tend to be loyal, enthusiastic members of the brand family. They want to know every detail. To have you talk to them often. Tell them what you’ve done, what you’re doing and what you plan to do. Recognize, respect and reward their loyalty. Ask for their input, their referrals. And thank them. Profusely.