The Chief Executive Officer and founding president of Honda Aircraft Company, Inc., Michimasa Fujino, has personally guided the company’s new HondaJet aircraft from initial conception all the way through to a fully developed model and certified aircraft. The company fought through at least five years of delays in the certification process. This new HondaJet appears to be one of the most unconventional designs ever found in a production aircraft. This aircraft is the culmination of Fujino’s 30-year old dream of creating the most advanced light jet in the world. Fujino’s outstanding attention to detail is evident in his contributions to the aircraft.
“Despite its apparent merits, the HondaJet project at one point was in danger of suspension. In 1996, Honda shut down most of its aircraft R & D projects and sent the engineers back to Japan to focus their efforts in the increasingly competitive automotive sector,” stated Fred George from Aviation Week. “Undeterred, Fujino went to top management and passionately pled his case several times for continuing his jet project. Potential demand for light jets was then especially strong in the U.S., where general aviation aircraft had access to 5,000 airports.”
Fujino had previously experienced the inefficiency and inconvenience of traditional airline systems which only provide regular nonstop services between a handful of major cities. The HondaJet CEO reasoned that smaller cities demanded smaller jets in order to provide essential air transportation. The new HondaJet aircraft appears to be the answer for this demand.
“Pushing ahead with the HondaJet also would be true to the legacy of company founder Soichiro Honda, who was as fascinated by airplanes as he was by ground vehicles. And as with Honda’s automobile design thrust, the HondaJet would offer pilots crisp handling, a sporty thrust-to-weight ratio and unparalleled human engineering,” added George.
The Honda Aircraft Company, Inc. is currently delivering the first initial HA-420 HondaJets to owners and dealers around the world. It appears as though Fujino’s dream is not a reality.