Honda Aviation - A Brief History

6/27/2007 1:00:00 PM

1986: Honda begins research in Japan on both small aircraft and jet engines.

1993: Honda begins research on composite body aircraft with Mississippi State University (MSU), leading to development of aircraft called "MH-02" that is jointly fabricated and tested by Honda and MSU. Research continues until 1996.

1995: Honda begins high altitude testing of its first generation turbofan engine, HFX-01, conducting more than 70 hours of tests through 1996.

1999: Development begins of the HF118 turbofan jet engine in the 1,000 to 3,500-pound thrust class, featuring a compact, lightweight, and fuel efficient design.

2000: Honda R&D Americas establishes a research facility at Piedmont Triad International Airport in North Carolina in October 2000 for the purpose of researching, fabricating and flight testing of HondaJet.

2002: Honda conducts high altitude tests of the HF118 engine starting in June 2002.

Honda publishes and reports its first technical paper in June 2002 concerning technological achievements of the new airframe. Honda continues publishing technical papers, with the most recent paper in June 2005.

2003: HondaJet takes first test flight, December 3, 2003. Honda makes first public announcement of the achievement days later.

2004: Honda and GE Aviation announce February 16, 2004, an alliance to commercialize the HF 118 engine, and establish a joint venture, GE-Honda Aero Engines, LLC, in October 2004, to pursue the development, production and sales of Honda's HF118 turbofan engine in the light business jet market.

In July 2004, Honda establishes Honda Aero, Inc. to manage its aircraft engine business in the U.S. and the Wako Nishi R&D Center in Japan to research and develop turbofan jet and piston aviation engines.

2005: HondaJet makes its public "world debut" at the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) AirVenture 2005 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, July 28, 2005.

2006: Honda announces that it will commercialize HondaJet at the EAA AirVenture 2006 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, July 25, 2006.

Honda Aircraft Company, Inc. (HACI) established in August 2006, responsible for Honda's overall airframe business strategy, and the further development, sales promotion and production of the innovative HondaJet.

Honda Aircraft Company, Inc. begins sales of HondaJet at the NBAA (National Business Aviation Association) annual convention in Orlando, Florida, on October 17. HondaJet will be powered by the HF120 turbofan engine. HondaJet is targeted for type certification in 3-4 years with production in the U.S. beginning 2010.

2007: Honda Aircraft Company announces location of its $100 million world headquarters and production facility at Piedmont Triad International (PTI) Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, Feb. 9, 2007.

Honda Aircraft Company breaks ground for new headquarters and production facility, June 27, 2007. Construction of the 218,000 sq. ft. offices and airplane hanger is scheduled for completion in Spring 2008. The remaining 150,000 sq. ft. production facility is expected to be completed by Spring 2009.