Is There A Honda In Your Future?

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Few would dispute that Japan-based Honda makes a wide range of popular products, including cars, motorcycles, generators and even lawn mowers. So, you may ask, what's stopping them from bringing to market the still-under-development HondaJet? Apparently, the company is willing to quietly continue its flight testing in Greensboro, N.C., and wait for both the light-jet market and the airplane to stabilize. But, signs are becoming apparent that Honda thinks it's making progress in these areas -- the company recently said it will bring the experimental HondaJet to this year's EAA AirVenture on Thursday, July 28, 2005. “Aviation has long been a dream for Honda, and the HondaJet is the embodiment of that dream,” said Michimasa Fujino, HondaJet project leader and vice president of Honda R&D Americas Inc. “We chose EAA AirVenture for the HondaJet’s world debut in the pure spirit of our passion for aviation, and to share our new technology with the aviation community from a research and development standpoint.” Powered by two Honda HF-118 engines -- which also are experimental and which Honda plans to produce with General Electric -- the HondaJet's winglets, slightly drooped cockpit and upper-wing pylons for engine mounting conjure up the illegitimate offspring of a G-III, a B-1 bomber and the commercially disappointing Convair 990. As presently configured, the HondaJet includes a natural-laminar flow and an advanced lightweight all-composite fuselage. The aircraft has been used for a series of flight tests since December 2003 from the Piedmont Triad Airport in Greensboro, N.C. The HondaJet’s world debut at EAA AirVenture represents the HondaJet’s first public flight and first major exposure to aviation enthusiasts and the aviation media, according to EAA.