After more than 20 years of development, Honda has delivered its first commercial aircraft – the HondaJet – in Europe to Mönchengladbach, Germany-based Rheinland Air Service. The jet was manufactured at Honda Aircraft Company’s world headquarters in Greensboro, N.C. It received FAA certification in December 2015 and immediately began customer deliveries in North America and is now ready to be delivered to central Europe.
“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.”
As Honda explains on its HondaJet website, unlike many jets that use aluminum, the HondaJet employs an advanced, all-composite fuselage. Honda adds that the fuselage is created from a cutting-edge combination of a co-cured structure and honeycomb sandwich structures, which results in better performance and greater fuel efficiency.
In addition to the composite fuselage itself, Honda also touts the jet’s “Over-The-Wing Engine Mount,” which maximizes space in the fuselage, reduces drag at high speed and results in the cabin being far quieter than jets with a conventional engine placement.
The HondaJet began as the Honda MH02 prototype in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s. According to Mississippi State University research, the prototype incorporated carbon fiber/epoxy composite materials.