Honda made its bones as an engine manufacturer first and foremost, so its latest problems getting the HondaJet off the ground must be frustrating. According to Bloomberg, recent testing revealed a susceptibility to ice damage, forcing a redesign of the HondaJet's HF120 engine. This development means engine certification will be pushed back until the second half of next year, and the plane will not launch during 2012, as previously planned.

This is the latest in a series of delays for Honda's highly touted foray into aviation. The HondaJet was announced in July 2006, with hopes to launch in 2010. But by 2009, Honda had bumped that target to late 2011, Bloomberg reports. Further problems resulted in the anticipated 2012 launch. Now the best-case scenario would see the plane finally go on sale in 2013. The $4.5 million, 489-mile per hour HondaJet made its first flight last December with testing continuing this year.

Bloomberg pegs Honda's research and development investment in the project at over $1 billion. Honda officials wouldn't quantify the financial impact of this most recent delay, although Honda Aircraft Co. President Michimasa Fujino did downplay the significance of the slipping schedule, saying, "The business-jet market is a little slow right now, so the impact on sales is minimal, because the market won't recover until 2013."


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  • 50 Comments
      Rotation
      • 3 Years Ago
      This my sound flip, but clearly making a jet engine is a very difficult task. Honestly when it comes to jet engines, a year delay is peanuts. Retesting after a redesign is a time-consuming process.
      IBx27
      • 3 Years Ago
      Better to get it right the first time than to have a few jets crash and never be able to sell another one. $4.5M doesn't sound bad for a personal jet. I wonder what RPM the VTEC system kicks in at...30,000?
        James008
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        Actually, the HondaJet is quite a bit more expensive then competitive aircraft like the Cessna Citation Mustang (2.6M). However, the HondaJet does handily outperform the Cessna, and also uses more advanced Garmin G3000 avionics with a touch screen glass cockpit. Also, the HondaJet's pylon mounted engines (as opposed to the typical fuselage mounted engines of business jets) allows for a roomier cabin.
          harbour
          • 3 Years Ago
          @James008
          A reply from the Honda publicity staff, here and below
          IBx27
          • 3 Years Ago
          @James008
          Thanks for the info, James. I really don't know much about the private jet market, but from the interior pics I saw of this, it looks worth the money. Too bad you can't park it in a driveway though!
          atc98092
          • 3 Years Ago
          @James008
          Not sure I'd want a touch-screen in the cockpit. Wouldn't take too much turbulence to make it difficult to change settings, such as radio frequency changes, change the GPS settings, etc. Not like driving a car. These are activities that you have to do while flying. Plus, there's no mandatory first officer (co-pilot) to assist with these duties.
      Andrew
      • 3 Years Ago
      Glad to see they're not working off the Mayan calendar...
      James008
      • 3 Years Ago
      Saying the engine has to be "redesigned" is a bit of a stretch. The problem has already been solved by beefing up the fan with thicker blades. The real reason for the delay is that the changes to the fan require almost all of the completed ground and flight testing of the engines to be redone.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      protovici
      • 3 Years Ago
      Honda please take your time....no room for second guessing with jets!!
      healthtrekker
      • 3 Years Ago
      G250 or GTFO.
      CarCrazy24
      • 3 Years Ago
      What happened to you Honda?
      MKIV
      • 3 Years Ago
      If it's easy anyone can do it.
      lostjr
      • 3 Years Ago
      My recollection is that the thinking behind these light jets was that business travelers would be able to basically fly these for something like the cost of a first class ticket. This notion came about before the meltdown. Now post meltdown, business travel has come back some, but I think the market for these is still much smaller than originally anticipated.
        Jon Norman
        • 3 Years Ago
        @lostjr
        corporate jets wouldn't be attacked so much if the general population was working. Afterall, corporatejets allow businesses to save money by moving businessmen from place to place efficiently. Thing is, with all the technology we have now, why should they have to move around instead of netmeeting?
      Chad Kirchner
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think it's an awesome product and design despite the delays. I hope that they can get the final product out in time for me to buy one! (haha)
      David
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's a cool looking jet. Then again, I know nothing of jets.
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