If Wishes Were Engines, Then Tiny Jets Would Fill The Sky

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While we wait for news from Eclipse regarding how it will fill the void left by its rejection of the innovative Williams engine that was supposed to power its six-place twinjet, other manufacturers are quietly moving forward with competing projects. This week, The Wall Street Journal took note of Honda's effort (which AVweb told you about in October). The WSJ reports that the company wants to build a "Honda Civic of the sky" that would deliver 20 percent better fuel economy than conventional jets. The twin-engine, five-passenger jet would have a composite fuselage using newly developed lightweight materials, and a new Honda engine that has been in development since the mid-1980s. First flight for the prototype is expected sometime next summer. The Honda jet would enter an increasingly crowded field, with Eclipse, Cessna, Safire, and Adam Aircraft already in play. Safire is depending on a new engine under development by Agilis, and the Adam A700 will use Williams FJ33 engines that are not yet certified. Cessna has not yet announced an engine supplier for its Citation Mustang twinjet.