Although it is being built in North Carolina, it will be another couple of years before the HondaJet will undergo U.S. federal aviation certification. But in the meantime, the aircraft launched this week in Europe at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition – held at the same Palexpo that hosts the Geneva Motor Show each year – while the jet undergoes European certification. And who do you think placed the first order? None other than Jenson Button, Honda's star F1 racing driver.
Button – who has (arguably) loyally stood by Honda (formerly known as BAR) for six straight seasons despite the team's dismal performance and in the face of offers from other teams – will take delivery of not one, but two HondaJets when they begin delivery in 2012. In addition to personal use, the scruffy F1 driver will use the jets for his new charter aircraft business. Each new HondaJet can carry five passengers and two crew in groundbreaking (but decidedly un-earth-shaking) silence to 483 mph in all the high-tech luxury expected from the creators of Asimo.