Aircraft bluebook

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There are currently four aircraft bluebooks (three paid-subscription and one free resource) used within the aviation industry.

One of the commonly referenced paid-subscription publications is the Aircraft Price Digest which identifies and prices more than 3,000 used general aviation aircraft and helicopter make and model-years available in the USA. Coverage includes avionics, airworthiness, common conversions and overhaul usage limits. There is also the very similar, Vref - Aircraft Value Reference used by both aircraft brokers and a number of financial institutions, and the Airliner Price Guide. All three are updated every three to six months, available in printed form or online, and are paid subscriptions.

There is a free service, the International Bluebook, which offers general bluebook figures online for specific, individual jet aircraft for sale – but only through dealer’s sites or on jet aircraft multiple listing services (MLS) sites such as JetListe.

None of the aviation industry Bluebooks may be expected to give the simple calculation accuracy typical of the USA automotive industry books. A number of issues contribute to the difficulty in presenting a clear figure for a make/model/year, such as lack of central reporting of aircraft sales for either tax or license requirements, the complexity of individual aircraft value calculations, the timing of sales (long timeframes from offer to closing during which time the market can go up or down substantially), multiple synchronous closings for jet aircraft in particular, international currency sales, and non-disclosure-of-price terms included in many transaction documents.[1]

Most banks hire a professional broker/appraiser to allocate a value to an individual aircraft prior to funding. Appraisals usually include an onsite inspection and can be influenced by complex variables such as the year (manufactured year, delivery year, serial number sequence); time on airframe and engines (or until upcoming major inspection and maintenance events); damage (including where/how repaired); logbook and upgrades history; previous owners (number, type usage, and geographic location); maintenance programs (specially approved maintenance schedules and/or power by the hour engine insurance type plans); avionics; options; current mechanical, interior and exterior condition etc.

The Bluebook scale is used throughout the industry to rate the exterior and interior of aircraft. A rating of 10 means the aircraft is new, and 1 means that the aircraft is not fit for occupation or flight without extensive work.



  1. ^ "Jet Sales 101". Retrieved 2009-09-12. 


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