Honda Aircraft’s announcement that it will offer the $3.65 million HondaJet for sale in the European market beginning this month “is a big milestone,” according to Michimasa Fujino, president of the start-up aircraft manufacturer. “We have a lot of customer inquiries from the European market,” he said.
On June 10 Honda flew its latest jet engine design for the first time. In the 1,900-lb-thrust range, the engine flew on a modified Cessna CitationJet from Honda’s purpose-built research facility at Atlantic Aero in Greensboro, N.C. Concurrently, Honda is busily at work on a CJ-size airframe in Greensboro, with first flight expected in January.
HondaJet Midwest distributor Des Moines Flying Service plans to open a 5,000-sq-ft showroom and maintenance center at the Aurora (Ill.) Airport in July 2010 for the Honda-built very light jet. The Aurora facility, one of five HondaJet dealerships in North America, will serve 12 Midwestern states.
Honda Aero held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new engine plant in Burlington, N.C., on November 28. The plant will assemble and test new GE Honda Aero HF120 turbofans selected to power the HondaJet and Spectrum Aeronautical’s
The CEOs of Honda Motor and GE Transportation, a division of General Electric, signed the definitive agreement during the NBAA Convention last month to create GE Honda Aero Engines, a joint company that will pursue the launch of Honda’s HF118 turbofan engine for the light business jet market.
Local officials and Honda Aero executives yesterday broke ground for the new engine maker’s Burlington, N.C. headquarters. The Honda Aero headquarters and manufacturing facility will cost about $27 million and includes a 58,400-sq-ft production plant and 8,000-sq-ft test cell on 82 acres off the approach end of Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport’s Runway 24. Construction should be finished late next year or early in 2009.
Honda Aircraft signed an agreement with FlightSafety International at NBAA’07 for factory-authorized pilot and mechanic training for the HondaJet. Training initially will be offered at Honda Aircraft’s Greensboro, N.C. headquarters but might later be expanded to FlightSafety learning centers, according to Honda Aircraft CEO Michimasa Fujino.
Flightline Group’s $24 million, four-year, multi-building development project at its Tallahassee (Fla.) Regional Airport (TLH) headquarters will soon begin to take form. By next month, construction crews will start building the company’s 26,000-sq-ft regional service center.
Flightline Group's $24 million, four-year, multi-building development project at its Tallahassee (Fla.) Regional Airport (TLH) headquarters will soon begin to take form. By next month, construction crews will start building the company's 26,000-sq-ft regional service center, which will maintain general aviation aircraft and the emerging very light jets when it opens later next year.
If the HondaJet were being developed by a traditional business jet manufacturer, we would undoubtedly know a lot more about its future. Those who follow new-aircraft projects are used to receiving regular updates on milestones and test results along the way as the manufacturer seeks to reassure stockholders, lure new investors–or both.