Honda Aircraft Company Delivers First HondaJet in Europe, Announces Expansion at it's Factory in

Honda Aircraft Company recently delivered the first HondaJet into Europe. The announcement was made during a ceremonial delivery at AERO 2016, which is taking place in Friedrichshafen, Germany from April 20-23.“Delivering the first HondaJet in Europe is a significant milestone in our journey to bring new value to the light jet market,” said Honda Aircraft Company President and CEO Michimasa Fujino. “Our first customers who have made their commitment to fly the HondaJet are taking Honda skyward in a bold way. It has been rewarding to see the joy in their faces as they take delivery of their aircraft.”

The HondaJet Over-The-Wing Engine Mount (OTWEM) configuration, natural-laminar flow wing and composite fuselage were developed from long-term Honda research activities. These innovations combine to make the HondaJet the fastest, most spacious and most fuel-efficient jet in its class. The HondaJet is manufactured at Honda Aircraft Company’s world headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina. The HA-420 HondaJet received FAA type certification in December 2015 and immediately began customer deliveries in North America.

Meanwhile, Honda Aero Inc. said it will build a $21 million expansion at its factory in Burlington. The 50,000-square-foot expansion will include up to 30 new jobs and allow the company more flexibility in making the engines and parts for them, said Atsukuni Waragai, Honda Aero president. When the expansion is complete, Honda Aero will operate a 130,000-square-foot campus with 120 workers off Interstate 40/85 near Burlington/Alamance Regional Airport. Waragai said today at a groundbreaking event for the expansion that Honda Aero assembles, tests and delivers engines to Greensboro-based Honda Aircraft Inc. for installation in the HondaJet, which is manufactured at Honda Aircraft's world headquarters at Piedmont Triad International Airport. Honda Aero also maintains the engines at the Burlington plant.

Honda Aircraft delivered its first HondaJet, in December. The jet, which is in the “very light jet” category of about 10,000 pounds, can seat up to seven people, including one or two pilots. The engines built in Burlington are crucial to the HondaJet's design, which features small engines mounted above the wings in an unconventional style. Honda says the engines are also quieter than most. Honda Aero spokesman Eric Mauk said that the company has capacity to build 200 engines and has built 100 so far for the HondaJet. Honda Aero will use the expansion to make a crucial part for the jet engine, the "outer guide vane" that shapes engine air flow. The new space could allow the company to expand production if needed. "Today, Honda is the world's largest engine maker," Soichiro Takizawa, senior executive vice president of Honda North America, told the group in Burlington. He said Honda now makes 24 million engines of all kind per year and this is the first place it has manufactured jet engines. The engines are manufactured for a sister venture called GE Honda Aero Engines, LLC, which hopes to sell the engines to other aircraft makers as well as Honda Aircraft.

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