Honda Aircraft is delaying the first delivery until mid-2013 because of engine damage caused by ice during ground testing

Honda has announced yet another delay in the delivery of its HondaJet aircraft due to engine troubles that will push the release to mid-2013.

Not only is Honda a well-known Japanese automaker, but it has also extended its engineering abilities to jets with a venture called Honda Aircraft. Honda Aircraft launched in 2006 in Greensboro, North Carolina, and was set to make HondaJets that featured twin HF118 jet engines, a maximum speed of 420 knots, an all-glass cockpit, an operational ceiling of 41,000 feet and a range of 1,100 nautical miles. Honda has said that it wants to make HondaJet the "Honda Civic of the sky."

While Honda was able to send a HondaJet on its first flight back in December, and has even managed to sell over 100 HondaJets, delays over the last few years have prevented the company from completing its first delivery.

In 2009, Honda Aircraft announced that it would have to push its first delivery from 2010 to late 2011 due to problems in receiving parts.

Now, Honda Aircraft is delaying the first delivery until mid-2013 because of engine damage caused by ice during ground testing. According to Michimasa Fujino, president of Honda Aircraft, ice was taken into the engine causing minor damage and a loss of thrust, and a redesign is required before the first delivery can take place.

"I regret that we have to convey this message today," said Fujino after announcing the delay at a news conference.

Honda Aircraft and General Electric, who partnered with Honda to create the engine, will now work on redesigning the HF120 engine, which will not be certified until the second half of 2012. Fujino said the delay will not impact sales on a large scale because the business-jet market "is a little slow right now" and isn't expected to recover until 2013.

The HondaJet, which will seat two crew members and six passengers, will sell for $4.5 million a piece. Honda is spending over $120 million on the Greensboro site, which is expected to expand with a $20 million HondaJet maintenance, repair and overhaul facility, and is spending $1 billion on research and development of the HondaJet.

Source: Bloomberg

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