Capping off a tour in Japan that drew more than 10,000 people, the HondaJet light jet is making its European debut here at EBACE with plans to visit nine locations throughout the region.
The aircraft, which in late March received its provisional type certification, was displayed at public and private events at six airports in Japan and was involved in 33 demonstrations there. Honda Aircraft president and CEO Michimasa Fujino called the tour a success, particularly because it helped cultivate awareness of business aviation in Japan.
In Europe, the aircraft is on demonstration with HondaJet dealers, including the newly appointed Marshall Aviation (see page 58), which will cover sales in the northern part of the UK, Scandinavia and the Benelux countries. Other dealers include Rheinland Air Services in central Europe and TAG Aviation, covering southern Europe.
In addition to Geneva, the European tour will involve flights in Warsaw, Poland; Cambridge, Birmingham, Leeds and Farnborough in the UK; and Monchengladbach, Munich and Hamburg in Germany.
Honda Aircraft (Booth Z140) has not revealed its backlog, but continues to maintain that it holds orders for more than 100 of the $4.5 million aircraft. The company currently has 20 aircraft on the assembly line and plans to ramp up the rate following receipt of a production certificate. Fujino estimates that the company could produce 40 aircraft in the first year and possibly 60 in the next.
The production certificate is anticipated after full type certification, which Fujino said he hopes to secure in the next few months. European Aviation Safety Agency approval is anticipated later this year.
The company, which flew the first production model in June last year, began flying the second production model in March and a third this month. The flight-test program has accrued 2,500 flight hours at 70 locations, Fujino said.
As it continues flight-testing, Honda Aircraft has launched another expansion of its campus. This expansion involves a 50,000-sq-ft addition to the headquarters to accommodate office space for sales and administration, and a dedicated showroom.