November 29, 2007

Honda breaks ground for jet engine plant and headquarters in North Carolina

Honda Jet
Honda Jet. Click image to enlarge

Burlington, North Carolina – Honda Aero Inc. has officially broken ground on its new corporate headquarters and jet engine plant in Burlington, North Carolina. The property is adjacent to the Burlington-Alamance County regional airport.

The company also announced that it has successfully run a proof-of-concept version of its GE Honda HF120 turbofan engine, and that it has exceeded the company’s targets for both thrust performance and specific fuel consumption on its first test run. The company has a goal of engine certification in 2009, followed by the start of mass production in late 2010.

“Today, we break new ground for Honda and our efforts to enter the business of aviation,” said Satoshi Toshida, senior managing director of Honda Motor Company Ltd. “The GE Honda Aero engines built here in North Carolina will power a new class of advanced light jets.”

The company is investing approximately US$27 million in the headquarters and manufacturing facility, including equipment, and will employ some 70 people. The plant will have an initial annual capacity of 200 engines within about one year of production start-up. The engines will be used in two products in the “very light jet” market, the Spectrum Aeronautical Freedom and HondaJet, which will be produced in nearby Greensboro by the Honda Aircraft Company, a separate Honda company.

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