HondaJet Rumors (And Reality?)

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True or rumor (we'll know soon) -- scuttlebutt around the Honda display yesterday imagined that the decision has been made to go into production with the HondaJet at a price in the current (rather broad) VLJ range -- now that the show's begun we'll soon see if that's fantasy or reality. For now, local lore suggests GE, which developed the allegedly ultra-efficient engines along with Honda, will be taking a big role in the commercial exploitation of the technology. Honda has always been a large, if somewhat peripheral, player at AirVenture. But perhaps fueling speculation of a big announcement, Honda is this year on the fringes no more and the HondaJet is the centerpiece of a massive collection of boy toys housed in a huge, carpeted tent with theatrical lighting and enough flat-screen televisions to outfit a sports bar. In the past, Honda has been a sponsor of one of the seminar pavilions and always put up an impressive display of motorcycles, ATVs, generators and other equipment on the edge of the main exhibit area. It continued in that vein last year, even when its innovative light jet made its flight debut at Oshkosh, with the corporate display set up as usual and the jet parked on Aeroshell Square.