By Anne VanderMey
March 16, 2012

Wichita, the “air capital of the world,” boasts the likes of Hawker Beechcraft, Cessna, and Bombardier. But pending defense cuts and a soft market for private planes have hit hard — Boeing (BA) said it was leaving town. Wichita’s aviation companies are now looking for growth in Asia, where the 1% are still flying high.

By the numbers:

7%: Estimated amount U.S. business-jet unit sales fell in 2011 from a year earlier. Even so, Honeywell Aerospace (HON) sees a $230 billion global sales market for business jets over the next decade.

487,600: The number of jobs in the U.S. aerospace industry last year, down from 840,700 two decades ago. Wichita accounts for about 29,000 of the total.

70%: The portion of Hawker planes sold overseas. One potentially lucrative market is China, which now has only 1% of the world’s private-jet fleet, vs. America’s 60% share.

Sources: Hawker Beechcraft, Aerospace Industries Association, JETNET, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Honeywell International

This story is from the March 19, 2012 issue of Fortune.


You May Like