From 2006 December

U.S. aerospace sales will keep rising in 2007 as record orders won by Boeing and business jet manufacturers begin to translate into revenues. The military aircraft, space and missile sectors will likely see flat or declining sales.

That's the upshot of the Aerospace Industries Assn.'s (AIA) new annual forecast, which sees civil aircraft overtaking military airplane revenues next year for the first time since 2002. The study, released Wednesday, predicts civil aircraft will generate revenues of $54.6 billion in 2007, an increase of 13% from this year. Total industry sales are expected to reach $195 billion, up from $184 billion from 2006.

AIA President John W. Douglass says the industry's recovery, which began in 2004, is still gaining steam. He notes that the 2007 forecast does not include revenues from Boeing's popular new 787 passenger jet, which has won 435 firm orders but is not scheduled to begin new deliveries until 2008.

In an interview, Douglas predicted the growth cycle will extend through at least 2009 and possibly 2011. Industry backlog has surged 50% over the past two years to $294 billion, thanks in large part to a turnaround at Boeing's commercial airplane business. Boeing has won 855 commercial aircraft orders so far this year and a record 1,003 last year, up from just 277 in 2004.

By contrast, AIA projects the military aircraft sales will level off in 2007. Revenues are expected to reach $53.

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