Honda Motor Co., Ltd. [famous heritage!] recently announced that it has established a wholly-owned subsidiary, named Honda Aircraft Company, which will be responsible for the further development, sales promotion and production of the innovative HondaJet. The new company will be based in a facility at the Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, where the prototype HondaJet was assembled and flight tests have been carried out for more than 3 years.
Michimasa Fujino, the chief engineer who has led development of HondaJet and spent the past 20 years in Honda's aviation activities with Honda R&D Co., Ltd., will be assigned as the president and CEO of Honda Aircraft Company, and prepare for the full operation start of the new company from October.
Honda Aircraft Company will begin taking sales orders for HondaJet this fall, with the goal of delivering the first mass production HondaJet in 2010. In addition, the company will develop the production version of HondaJet, pursue and hold both type certification and production certification, and conduct marketing activities for the aircraft. The company also will manage Honda's new alliance with Piper Aircraft, Inc., which will collaborate on sales and service. The goal of this alliance is to provide a new level of sales and service to meet the needs of jet customers with the goal of setting a higher standard for the quality of the ownership experience.
With respect to production of the HondaJet, the company is now finalizing its plans for manufacturing the HondaJet in the U.S. However, it is the company's policy not to discuss site selection information until the details are final and a formal announcement is made.
HondaJet features several innovations that help it achieve far better fuel efficiency, larger cabin and luggage space and higher cruise speed than conventional aircraft in its class. The result of 20 years of aviation research, key HondaJet innovations include a patented over-the-wing engine-mount configuration, a natural-laminar flow (NLF) wing and fuselage nose, and an advanced all-composite fuselage structure.