Honda to Delay First Jet Deliveries Until Late 2012

It looks like the next-generation Civic isn't the only Honda offering experiencing a delayed arrival. Honda's aircraft division plans on delaying the launch of its HondaJet small private jet until late 2012.

"Our first priority is to achieve certification and first delivery of the HondaJet," HondaJet spokesman Stephen Keeney told Aviation International News. "Regrettably we've experienced delays in some components."

Although we first saw this instance of the HondaJet back in 2006, the company originally planned to launch the private jet in late 2011. Thanks to a few supplier delays, the first production-ready HondaJet (also known as the HA-420) won't take flight until this November. Assuming all goes according to plan, certification and approval from the Federal Aviation Administration won't be granted until the third quarter of 2012.

Neither Honda or GE (with whom Honda partnered with to build the HA-420's jet engines) would comment on what component delayed the program, but both remain upbeat about the launch timing. According to Keeney, customers aren't bothered by the delay. In fact, the company still has 100 firm orders for the jet, which is roughly how many planes Honda plans on building annually. That's impressive, considering each HA-420 is expected to run buyers roughly $3.65 million apiece.

Final assembly of the HondaJet will occur in a new factory located in Greensboro, North Carolina, which won't be completed until February 2011. The company's aviation wing currently employs 450 people, but that number is expected to grow once production begins in early 2012.

Source: Aviation International News

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