HondaJet

Honda Aircraft Company

What It Is: U.S.-based Honda Aircraft Company manufacturers the HA-420 HondaJet. The light twinjet features a patented over-the-wing engine mount as well as turbofans that the airframer’s parent, Japan’s Honda Motor Company, developed in partnership with General Electric.

How It Grew: Honda Aircraft grew out of a U.S.-based research project on light airplanes and jet engines that started in 1986 and was led by young aeronautical engineer Michimasa Fujino. The program progressed in 1988 to airframe development and in 1993 to flight tests of the MH-02—claimed to be the first all-composite business jet—before Honda ended it in 1996 following a financial collapse in Japan.

Back in that country, Fujino awoke one night in 1997, seized by a vision, and sketched out his novel over-the-wing engine-mount design. Following fortuitous encounters with senior managers, Honda Motor Company launched the HondaJet project later that year. The program gathered momentum with the establishment of a research facility in Greensboro, North Carolina in 2001; the first successful test flight of the all-composite HondaJet prototype in 2003; and establishment of the joint venture GE Honda Aero Engines to develop turbofans for the aircraft in 2004.

The HondaJet debuted at the 2005 EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, and Honda Aircraft was officially established the following year with Fujino at the helm. The company began taking orders at the 2006 National Business Aviation Association convention, booking more than 100 delivery positions. 

Honda Aircraft Unveils HondaJet Elite

Related Article

Honda Aircraft Unveils HondaJet Elite

The new HondaJet Elite delivers improved performance, new interior and exterior options, and avionics upgrades.

Following six additional years of development (three more than initially planned), production of HA-420 HondaJets commenced at the company’s purpose-built Greensboro factory in 2012. Then came FAA certification of the HF120 turbofan powerplant (2013), first flight of a production model (2014), and finally FAA type certification and first HondaJet delivery (December 2015). Introduction of the HondaJet Elite, an enhanced version of the HA-420, and a retrofit upgrade package for in-service HondaJets followed in 2018, along with certification by the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau.

In 2017 and 2018, the model was the world’s most-delivered light jet. 

What It Offers:

Aircraft. HA420 HondaJet Elite light twinjet.

MRO. HondaJet maintenance and upgrades at the company’s Greensboro factory maintenance facility.

Recent news: With approvals from EASA (the European Union Aviation Safety Agency), Transport Canada, and Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency already in hand, in August the HondaJet Elite received certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China.


FAST FACTS:

Founded: 2006

HQ:Greensboro, North Carolina

Employees: About 1,800

2018 aircraft sales/billings: 37 HondaJets/$183.05 million 

President and CEO: Michimasa Fujino

Website: hondajet.com

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