The first medevac configuration for the HondaJet Elite is now being installed in the field by Hawaiian charter operator Wing Spirit, which purchased 15 HondaJet Elites this year, Honda Aircraft president and CEO Michimasa Fujino announced on Monday at NBAA-BACE. Honda Aircraft is showcasing a mockup with the medevac interior at its NBAA-BACE booth (N6218), complementing the HondaJet Elite showcased at Henderson Executive Airport (Static SD805).
Fujino also said the company is establishing a seventh U.S. service facility that will support operators in the Northeast through an association with Part 145 facility and aircraft management company flyAdvanced in Wilmington, Delaware. Also, in partnership with FlightSafety International, Honda Aircraft is adding a second flight simulator and training center to support European customers at the UK’s Farnborough Airport, expected to be operational in April 2020.
This activity reflects the jet’s growing acceptance worldwide, Fujino said, noting the Elite has been the most-delivered very light jet for the past two years, with some 140 now in operation globally. The fleet has accumulated more than 40,000 flight hours and boasts a dispatch reliability of 99.7 percent.
Transport Canada certified the HondaJet earlier this year and four deliveries to Canadian customers have followed. Meanwhile, the first delivery to Japan, a country with little business aviation activity, occurred last year, and with China granting certification this August, growing global sales are anticipated.
“My goal is to expand business aviation in international markets by introducing light jets with the HondaJet,” Fujino said, adding that 25 percent of customers are first-time buyers.
Meanwhile, at its Greensboro, North Carolina, headquarters facility, Honda is building a new wing production facility, whose $15.5 million cost brings the company’s total investment in the U.S. to more the $245 million, according to Fujino.