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Pattaya Daily News

27 July 2006 :: 15:07:29 pm 23160

Honda Ready To Munufacturer Jets!

Honda, a leading manufacturer in small cars, has announced that it’s about to join the aviation market.
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   The Japanese automobile manufacturer announced yesterday that it has plans to build a fuel efficient jet, quite a stretch from their fuel efficient cars. They will be following a number of other car companies such as Ford, Rolls-Royce, BMW and Mitsubishi, who have also tried their hand in the aviation market.

   The Honda Jet will be a twin-TYPE, six passenger craft available for purchase in 2010. Orders for the jet will be taken this fall. Honda announced it’s plans to build the jet at an air show in Oshkosh, Wis., USA. The jet is to be manufactured in an undetermined location in the United States.

   For marketing purposes, Honda is teaming up with Piper Aircraft. Piper is a 69-year-old manufacturer of a line of small planes starting with the Piper Club, a pioneer in general aviation aircraft.

   James K. Bass, the chief executive at Piper, said his company would offer Honda advice in a number of areas, like TYPEering, sales and business aviation marketing.

   The Honda Jet will join a long list of other Honda motorized products such as cars, motorcycles, lawn mowers and personal watercrafts.

   The Honda Jet has been under development for the last nine years. Honda will face stiff competition from such rival companies as Eclipse, Cessna and Embraer who are also marketing “very light jets”. These jets are classified as an aircraft weighing a maximum of 10,000 pounds and can be flown by one pilot.  These planes generally range from $1.5 million to $4 million USD.

  They will aim their marketing at owners of small business who don’t need big planes or want to spend millions of dollars for luxury planes.

   Honda officials estimated that the very light jet market would total about 200 planes a year and said it hoped it could capture a good chunk of those sales by stressing the plane’s unique features.

   The Honda Jet’s TYPEs will be mounted over the wings, not over the tail as on many private jets. The plane will also make extensive use of composite materials instead of aluminum, which will make it lighter and permit it to use less fuel.

   The Honda Jet is expected to be 5% more efficient at cruising speed, said Michimasa Fujino, a vice president of Honda Research and Development Americas, who has led the jet’s development.

   Mr. Fujino began working on Honda’s aircraft development 20 years ago, when he was assigned to Honda’s operations in the United States. In 1997, he presented the proposal for a Honda jet to the company’s top management, and was told to proceed with its development.

   “I have dreamed of this moment since we began aircraft research 20 years ago,” Mr. Fujino said. In turn, Mr. Bass at Piper said, “We are allying with a company that has a stellar record for customer quality and value.”

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : PDN staff   Category : Business News

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