HondaJet Production, First Flight, Deliveries Delayed

 - April 30, 2009, 12:14 PM

Citing global aerospace industry challenges, Honda Aircraft today announced setbacks in its HondaJet program, moving the projected first flight of a production-conforming airplane to January next year, a delay of nearly a year from its previous schedule. (A prototype made the model's first flight on Dec. 3, 2003.) According to the company, difficulties in receiving critical components for conforming aircraft production will also delay first deliveries, now planned for the fourth quarter of 2011. A Honda Aircraft spokesman told AIN the company expects FAA certification 15 to 18 months after that first production-conforming aircraft flies. “We have been working closely with our suppliers over the past year in an effort to minimize the effect of the ongoing worldwide economic instability on HondaJet development,” said Honda Aircraft president and CEO Michimasa Fujino. “Unfortunately, we now have no choice but to revise our schedule. We appreciate our customers’ continued trust and their understanding of the challenges we are facing to bring them the most advanced light jet available.”