Honda Aviation - A Brief History

12/13/2007 7:00:00 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.

GE Honda Aero Engines successfully runs a proof-of-concept version of the GE Honda HF120 turbofan engine, exceeding the company's internal development targets for both thrust performance and specific fuel consumption (SFP) on the engine's first test run.

GE Honda Aero Engines announced that it had secured orders for the new HF120 engine (a higher thrust successor to the HF118), from Honda Aircraft Company, Inc., maker of the HondaJet advanced light jet; and Spectrum Aeronautical, maker of the Spectrum Freedom business jet. The announcement was made at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention in Orlando, Florida, October 16, 2006.

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 219,000 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 Fall 2009.

Honda Aero announced plans, July 17, 2007, to establish its headquarters and jet engine manufacturing facility in Burlington, North Carolina, beginning with production of the GE Honda HF120 turbofan engine in 2010.

Honda Aero conducted an official groundbreaking ceremony, November 28, 2007, for its new headquarters and engine manufacturing facility in Burlington, North Carolina, near the Burlington Alamance County regional airport.