HondaJet Announces Delays, Blames Suppliers

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HondaJet conforming aircraft will probably not fly before January 2010 with customer deliveries now projected for fourth quarter 2011 -- a year later than originally hoped. Honda Aircraft Company Thursday released the news with the explanation that "ongoing global aerospace industry business challenges" have delayed the arrival of critical components. Honda is working with "leading industry suppliers" in the manufacture of many major subassemblies and says that delays in delivery of some critical components forced the company to push back its schedule. The company said in a news release it remains "confident we will deliver to our customers the best-performing and best-valued light jet in the industry." HondaJet is currently priced at $3.9 million and claims "significantly lower fuel consumption than any light jet of its size."

HondaJet has so far accrued orders for "well over 100 aircraft," according to the company. The proof-of-concept aircraft has flown more than 425 test hours while demonstrating a top speed of 420 knots and maximum altitude of 43,000 feet. Powered by GE Honda HF120 turbofan engines, Honda expects the jet aircraft to achieve superior efficiency and performance when compared with its closest competitors. The aircraft can seat up to seven and has a maximum IFR range of more than 1,100 nm cruising at FL410 with one pilot plus three passengers aboard. Honda Aircraft Company recently completed its world research and design center on the grounds of its Greensboro, N.C., headquarters. That facility houses the world delivery center for all HondaJet aircraft.