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HondaJet starts production line with eye on deliveries next year


Nearly three years behind schedule, Honda Aircraft Company is finally starting the production line for its very light jet. While flight tests started almost two years ago, the HondaJet program faced lengthy delays after the company had issues procuring some components and after ice damage problems forced a redesign of the plane’s engines. So far the company has assembled the first fuselage and wing sections for customer aircraft, and it plans to deliver the first planes in early 2013. The company must finish some flight testing before it receives its FAA type certificate, which typically comes after the FAA can inspect the first planes that roll off the production line. The $4.5 million very light jet uses a novel design, with its twin engines mounted on pylons that extend vertically from the inboard sections of the wings. The jet seats up to six people, cruises at 420 knots and has a range of 1,400 nautical miles.