Honda Aircraft delivered its first European HondaJet April 20, the next step in the production ramp that will lead to approximately 40 deliveries in the next 12 months, according to President and CEO Michimasa Fujino. Fujino delivered the airplane to Johannes Graf von Schaesberg, chairman and CEO of Rheinland Air Service, one of three Honda Aircraft European dealers. Rheinland, doing business as HondaJet Central Europe, will use the airplane as a demonstrator for approximately a year before selling it to a retail customer.
European certification of the HondaJet should occur by early May, according to Fujino, who also designed the unusual airplane, which features over-the-wing engine mounts. The patented design decreases drag and allows for a larger passenger cabin and more baggage space than a similar-sized airplane with conventional empennage-mounted engines, according to Honda officials. Fujino said the company delivered the equivalent of 2 million pages of documents to the FAA to achieve U.S. certification, which occurred in December.
Approximately 20 percent of the more than 100 orders for the HondaJet are destined for Europe, Fujino said.