BRIEF HISTORY OF HONDAJET
TOP SECRET BEGINNINGS IN 1986
Honda’s introduction into aircraft research and development began almost as something out of a movie! In 1986 a top-secret project began under Honda Research and Development. Initially, the project was only a team of four engineers as Honda established its aviation research department out of nothing. Dr. Michimasa Fujino, the lead designer, conceptualized the flagship “HondaJet” in 1997, and development began in 2000, when Honda’s entire engineering team relocated to Greensboro, NC. Until 2005, the HondaJet team operated from a single hangar and issued very few news releases. The HondaJet proof-of-concept flew for the first time on December 8, 2003, and was unveiled to the public at the AirVenture Oshkosh Airshow in 2005. Honda Aircraft Company was created as a completely owned subsidiary of Honda Motor in 2006, twenty years after the research project began.Honda Aircraft Company’s first aircraft, the HondaJet, pioneered a number of technological advancements in business aviation. The most prominent advancement is the over the wing engine mount (OTWEM), which enhances aerodynamics and enables a longer, quieter cabin by separating the engines from the wings. Another fantastic technological advancement from Honda Aircraft is they accomplished a natural laminar flow wing design by fabricating the HondaJet wing from one large piece of aluminum, reducing the amount of components capable of impeding airflow. HondaJet’s most incredible innovations from the Honda Engineering team on this aircraft is it is the first to feature an all-carbon composite fuselage, which both decreases the aircraft’s weight and improves airflow across the fuselage. Due to all these and more, Honda Aircraft Company was recognized for their innovation and technological advancements with various accolades which include the AIAA Foundation Award for Excellence in 2018 and the Flying Innovation Award from Flying Magazine in 2017.Honda Motors committed more than $200 million between 2006 and 2015 to expand the Honda Aircraft Company’s facilities from a single hangar to a 133-acre facility that includes an R&D center, production factory, customer service center, and corporate headquarters. By 2021, the company will have delivered more than 170 aircraft to customers in more than 40 nations. Honda Aircraft Company expanded its sales activities to Europe in 2016 and plans to expand to India, the Middle East, South America, Southeast Asia, as well as Japan, Canada, and China by 2019. On May 20, 2019, Honda Aircraft Company announced the construction of a new $15.5 million plant near Greensboro, North Carolina.In October of 2021, at the NBAA conference in Las Vegas, Honda announced its HondaJet 2600 Concept, showcasing a model of the new fuselage that boasts a transcontinental range of 2,625 nautical miles while retaining the company’s proprietary over-the-wing engine mounting system. HondaJet unveiled a model of the HondaJet 2600 at NBAA this year to solicit customer input and confirm market demand before proceeding with plans to create a new type of Light Jet. Dr. Michimasa Fujino, president and CEO of Honda Aircraft, described the 2600 as a continuation of the company’s ambition of creating a completely new category of Reach out today as we are always available to assist.