Now Taking Orders… the Fastest Honda Yet!

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No it’s not the new NSX or even the mythical XGA. Yesterday, at the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture 2006 in Oshkosh, Wis. (the world’s largest annual aviation gathering) Honda announced that it was ready to take orders on the new Honda business jet.

“Aviation has been an important dream of Honda for more than four decades,” said Satoshi Toshida, senior managing director of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. “Our goal is consistent with the philosophy of other Honda products—to provide convenient and efficient transportation that will make people’s lives better. We are excited now to enter a new dimension of mobility.”

Classified as a “microjet”, (seating for 8 or less) Honda claims that it’s new offering will “achieve far better fuel efficiency, larger cabin and luggage space and higher cruise speed than conventional aircraft in its class.”

This beautiful new aircraft offers an all glass flight deck, and a unique over the wing engine configuration which provides a premium of space in the fuselage for passengers and luggage. Honda claims that the configuration will also reduce drag at high speeds to improve fuel efficiency.

Honda’s seven seat prototype has already completed more than 240 hours of flight testing. It can fly at altitudes up to 43,000 feet and is capable of speeds exceeding 400 knots.

Honda will form a new U.S. company to deal with FAA regulations. It also plans to form an alliance with Piper Aircraft, Inc. in addition to its already established alliance with GE for engine sales of the HF118 turbofan powerplants.

The move comes at a time when “microjets” increasingly are used to hop between regional airports in a market that industry officials expect to burgeon in coming years as the FAA sets up new rules that foster the approach. Small business jet applications include owner operators and fractional owners, as well as potential “air taxi” operations. The “air taxi” business involves micro jets flying passengers on short stops using the vast number of small airports not serviced by major airliners. The emergence of smaller, relatively inexpensive business jets, which seat from four to eight passengers, creates the potential for considerable sales for future business and personal travel. Honda envisions an annual market in the future for approximately 200 or more of these business jets.

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