At its first official presence here at EBACE yesterday, Honda Aircraft (Booth No. 7547) announced three European HondaJet dealers that will provide sales and service to customers in the region. It also revealed Formula 1 driver Jenson Button as the European launch customer for the compact twinjet.
Economy of Japan
Honda Aircraft made a big splash in its first official presence at EBACE today, announcing the appointment of three European HondaJet dealers to provide sales and service support to customers in the region, as well as revealing Formula 1 driver Jenson Button as the European launch customer for the compact twinjet.
So far, Toyota is downplaying the significance of its TAA (Toyota Advanced Aircraft) proof-of-concept airplane. The all-composite, four-place piston aircraft took flight for the first time on May 31 at Mojave (Calif.) Airport, and Toyota officials are calling the project “an early look” and a “feasibility study.” Some 35 Toyota engineers have been working on the single-engine airplane.
The Mitsubishi MRJ might have attracted its most powerful project partner yet, as Japan’s Toyota Motor Company contemplates a major investment in the two-aircraft regional jet series. According to Japan’s Asahi newspaper, Toyota plans to invest 10 billion yen ($96.8 billion) in the MRJ, scheduled for industrial launch within weeks. Under the partnership, Mitsubishi will retain a 60-percent stake in the company.
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.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries aims to deliver the first XP-1 fixed-wing maritime patroller to Japan’s defense ministry by the end of this year. The aircraft, rolled out as P-X, completed a successful hour-long first flight on September 28 from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s Gifu Base.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries yesterday said it will establish a wholly owned subsidiary to produce commercial aircraft components in Hanoi, Vietnam. Plans call for the new division, dubbed MHI Aerospace Vietnam Co., Ltd. (MHIVA), to begin assembling metal aircraft components by the spring of 2009, starting with flaps for the Boeing 737.
Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has joined the European Regions Airline Association after deciding to go ahead with marketing its proposed Mitsubishi Regional Jet series, which would enter service in 2013 powered by Pratt & Whitney geared turbofans.
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.
Honda Aircraft plans to ramp up to an annual build rate of 100 HondaJets within two years of starting its production line, company CEO Michimasa Fujino announced at a press conference here yesterday. Fujino also announced that the company had signed a master training service agreement with FlightSafety International to provide HondaJet pilot training.