Honda Aircraft has selected four U.S. Piper distributors to sell and service the HondaJet, the Japanese manufacturer announced here at NBAA’06.
Honda HA-420 HondaJet
Honda Motor revealed today that it has established Honda Aircraft, a wholly owned subsidiary, to handle development, sales and production of the HondaJet. The company will start operations in October from Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C., where the HondaJet prototype was assembled and flown. Michimasa Fujino, the chief engineer who has led development of the HondaJet, will be president and CEO.
UK-based fractional ownership program European Business Jets (EBJ) is looking to move into aircraft management to boost its available fleet. The company is also considering adding new types to its fleet, including the Embraer Phenom 100 and HondaJet very light jets. It sells shares in pre-owned jets and currently operates a Cessna CitationJet and a Citation CJ1.
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.
Piper Aircraft president and CEO Jim Bass yesterday unveiled the company’s next generation aircraft–the single-engine, six-seat PiperJet, an airplane priced at just under $2.2 million that adds another serious player to the market for very light jets.
There are 12 very light jets currently in development, in flight-test or recently certified. Nearly all are clean-sheet designs, which typically consume more money and time than do derivatives, illustrating the faith manufacturers (and would-be manufacturers) have in this emerging market.
Start-up manufacturer Spectrum Aeronautical announced last month that it has selected the GE/Honda HF120 turbofan engine to power a new $6.2 million (2006 $) midsize business jet called the S-40 Freedom.
With the announcement, Spectrum became the second customer for the 2,050-pound-thrust engine, currently in development and slated for certification in 2009. The S-40’s certification and first deliveries are “targeted for” 2010.
Enormous banners that hung from the façade of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando last month proclaimed the NBAA Convention offered “A year’s worth of business in just three days.” It certainly felt that way.
The record-setting event held from October 17 to 19 was a showcase for airplane introductions, product rollouts and announcements of stratospheric order tallies.
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.