Friday, May 23, 2014

Federal Aviation Administration working to complete certification for Honda Aero facility

The Federal Aviation Administration is working to complete plant production certification for the Honda Aero Inc. facility in Burlington, Honda Aero Vice President of Plant Operations Tony Brandewie said Thursday.

Brandewie expects the process to be completed by the end of the year. After the plant is certified, production for the HF 120 engine will be transferred from a facility in Lynn, Mass., to Burlington.

In December, the FAA awarded airworthiness certification to the HondaJet engine, allowing production to begin. Brandewie said GE Honda Aero Engines this month delivered two HF 120 engines produced in Lynn to the Honda Aircraft Co.

Honda Aircraft announced May 19 that the first HondaJet has been produced and is ready for ground tests.

“Honda Aircraft Company’s most important goals are achieving Federal Aviation Administration Type Certification and delivering the first customer aircraft,” Honda Aircraft President and CEO Michimasa Fujino said. “Our total effort is focused on reaching these much-anticipated milestones in the first quarter of 2015.”

The HondaJet’s first flight is anticipated this summer. The production schedule is to have 10 aircraft on the final assembly line in June. Brandewie said the HondaJet’s body and wings are being produced in Greensboro.

Honda Aero’s site in Burlington is located on 90 acres at the Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport. The engine manufacturing facility will build the HF 120 engine developed by Honda and GE, which will power the HondaJet.

Work on engine prototypes began in 1986 and included the HF 118, the engine that powered the first test flight of the HondaJet in December 2003.

In July 2007, company officials announced that Honda Aero would initially invest $27 million in construction and equipment at the Burlington site and employ 70 workers within a year of the start of production at the 58,400-square-foot plant.


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