The HondaJet is one of a trio of Japanese newcomers at this year’s Paris Air Show, the other two being the Kawasaki P-1 maritime patrol aircraft and the MRJ90 regional jet.
It’s been a long time coming, but the HondaJet entry-level bizjet, which enjoys the distinction of being the first Japanese-designed civil aircraft since the 1960s, is finally making an appearance at Le Bourget. The aircraft, with its distinctive Over-The-Wing Engine Mount (OTWEM) configuration, achieved certification and first deliveries at the end of 2015 after overcoming technical problems that added five years to the development programme.
Production at the Honda Aircraft Company facility in Greensboro, North Carolina, is steadily ramping up towards a target of 80 aircraft per year — the company delivered 15 aircraft in the first quarter of 2017.
Powered by two GE Honda Aero Engine HF120 engines, the composite-fuselage aircraft features a Garmin G3000 glass flight deck and a top speed of 778km/h.
The company recently expanded sales of the HondaJet to Southeast Asia, partnering with Thai Aerospace Services (TAS) to establish HondaJet Southeast Asia. The company also reports multiple aircraft orders to support a new hybrid fractional ownership programme in the U.K. and Southern Europe.
The first HondaJet delivery to a European customer was in April 2016.