With the FAA’s pending approval expected to pass in the next couple months, Honda Aircraft Co.’s HondaJet has been undergoing final certification flight testing, and debuted in Europe during EBACE2015!
Production steadily continues at its headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina. Three production HondaJets have flown so far and another 20 are on the production line, the company reports.
Honda has more than 100 orders for the light jet in its backlog.
“We are very close to certification,” Honda Aircraft president and CEO Michimasa Fujino said in an interview with ShowNews. He wants to get it in customers’ hands as soon as possible.
“I try hard to meet customer expectations,” Fujino said.
Aircraft development brings with it a lot of headaches, he said. But it is satisfying to have come this far and to see customers impressed with the jet and its performance.
If everything goes well, the company could reach full production rates in three years.
Fujino said he isn’t ready to talk about his next HondaJet project. The aircraft was intended to be one of a family of jets.
“We have to have a very good strategy to make this aviation business in Honda grow in the future,” he said. “But so far I couldn’t talk (about the next move.)”
The HondaJet is making its first appearance in Europe during EBACE and will begin a demonstration tour after it concludes. The aircraft will embark on the tour with HondaJet dealers in Europe. It will visit nine European locations in the UK, Germany, Poland and Switzerland.
The company gave demonstration tours in North America, where it visited 13 locations and carried more than 300 customers. And it most recently completed a tour in Japan, where the aircraft visited six locations and gave 33 customer demonstration flights. More than 10,000 people in Japan had the opportunity to see the aircraft.
“It was very successful,” Fujino said.
HondaJet also announced that it has appointed Marshall Aviation Services, a subsidiary of Marshall Aerospace and Defense Group, to provide HondaJet sales and service at its facility at Birmingham International Airport in Birmingham, UK. Marshall will support customers in Scandinavia, Benelux and Northern UK, including Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
Honda is also working with Rheinland Air Services in Central Europe and TAG Aviation in Southern Europe, which provide sales and service to HondaJet customers.
Honda Aircraft’s service center in Greensboro, North Carolina, recently expanded its capabilities and added the HF 120 engine to its service capabilities in preparation for the aircraft to enter service.
This article originally posted on AviationWeek.com.