Honda Aircraft revealed a number of intriguing details about the HondaJet program yesterday, including the airplane’s price, performance figures and the fine points of its service-network alliance with Piper Aircraft.
On August 8 Honda Motor Co. launched a new company, Honda Aircraft, which will certify the very light HondaJet in three to four years. The company is headed by long-time Honda engineer Michimasa Fujino, who spent the past 20 years quietly studying the aviation marketplace and technology before designing a new airplane that promises to offer strong competition in the sub-10,000-pound business jet class.
The HondaJet officially went on sale at last month’s NBAA Convention in Orlando, racking up orders for “more than” 100 airplanes by the end of the three-day event.
The HondaJet prototype was expected to make its world debut, and first public demonstration flight, on July 28 at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. Its planned four-hour appearance at the show represents the twinjet’s first major exposure to aviation enthusiasts and the aviation media.
As he does with all VIPs arriving at AirVenture, EAA president Tom Poberezny greeted Honda’s Michimasa Fujino with warm words and great respect. But the HondaJet’s future remains an enigma.
The HondaJet will make an encore appearance at this month’s EAA AirVenture, July 24 to 30 in Oshkosh, Wis. Last year, the very light jet spent just a few hours at AirVenture, but this time Honda will display the jet for the duration of the show. The company has still not announced whether it will enter the VLJ market with the HondaJet.
At this year’s EAA AirVenture show, plans and promises from the past finally yielded fruit. Last year, Honda flew the Honda-powered, Honda-designed HondaJet to Oshkosh in an impressive demonstration of the company’s aeronautical capabilities. Yet the company was maddeningly silent about bringing the jet to market until AirVenture 2006, when it announced plans to certify and market the HondaJet.
Two weeks after Honda revealed its long-anticipated commercial plans for the HondaJet, the Japanese company on August 8 established a wholly owned subsidiary–Honda Aircraft–that will develop, market and produce the engine-over-the-wing very light twinjet. The new company will be based at the Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C., where the HondaJet prototype was assembled and has been engaged in test flying since Dec.
Honda announced on July 25 at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., that it will “enter the HondaJet into the growing very light jet market.” According to project leader and vice president of Honda R&D Americas Michimasa Fujino, Honda will establish a new U.S. company to produce and certify the over-the-wing-engine twinjet in the U.S. Honda plans to certify the HondaJet in 2009 or 2010 under FAR Part 23.
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