Wings Magazine

Honda Aero Breaks Ground for Headquarters and Jet Engine Plant in North Carolina

Nov. 28, 2007, Burlington, NC  - Honda Aero, Inc. officially broke ground today on its new corporate headquarters and jet engine plant in Burlington, North Carolina.

November 28, 2007  By Carey Fredericks

hongapreviewNov. 28, 2007, Burlington, NC 
– Honda Aero, Inc. officially broke ground today on
its new corporate headquarters and state-of-the-art jet engine plant in
Burlington, North Carolina, on property located adjacent to the
Burlington-Alamance County regional airport.

Honda Aero also announced that it has successfully run a
proof-of-concept version of the advanced and efficient GE Honda HF120
turbofan engine, and that the engine has exceeded the company's
internal development targets for both thrust performance and specific
fuel consumption (SFP) on its first test run.


The company is moving
toward its goals of engine certification in 2009 followed by the start
of mass production in late 2010.


"Today, we break new ground for Honda and our effort to enter the
business of aviation," said Satoshi Toshida, senior managing director
of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. "The GE Honda Aero engines built here in North
Carolina will power a new class of advanced light jets."

The all new, 102,400-square foot Honda Aero facility will consist of
36,000 square feet of office space, a 58,400-square foot production
plant, and an 8,000-square foot engine test cell. Honda Aero will
employ approximately 70 associates when the plant reaches its initial
annual capacity of 200 GE Honda engines within about one year of
production startup. The company is investing approximately $27 million
for construction of the headquarters and manufacturing facility,
including equipment.

By achieving a higher thrust-to-weight ratio and lower fuel
consumption, while minimizing emissions and achieving lower noise than
other engines in its thrust class, the GE Honda HF120 has been chosen
to power two of the newest and most advanced products in the "very
light jet" market – Spectrum Aeronautical's Freedom, and HondaJet,
which will be produced in neighboring Greensboro, North Carolina, by
the Honda Aircraft Company, Inc., a separate Honda company.

The HF120 is a higher thrust successor to Honda's original HF118
prototype engine, which has accumulated more than 4,000 hours of
testing on the ground and in-flight. Honda research on jet engine
technology started in 1986, with development of the HF118 engine
beginning in 1999. GE-Honda collaboration on the HF120 began in early
2005. The first core test of the GE Honda HF120 was conducted in early
2007, followed by full-engine testing later in the year.

GE Honda Aero Engines is a joint venture between GE Aviation and
Honda Aero, established in 2004 for the development, certification and
commercialization of jet engines in the 1,000 to 3,500 pounds thrust

About Honda

Honda Aero, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Honda Motor Co.,
Ltd., the world's preeminent engine maker, producing more than 26
million engines annually for a diverse range of products including
automobiles, motorcycles and power equipment products. Founded in Japan
in 1948, Honda began operations in the U.S. in 1959 with the
establishment of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. ( ),
Honda's first overseas subsidiary. Honda began U.S. production of
motorcycles in 1979 and automobiles in 1982. Honda began making power
equipment products in Swepsonville, North Carolina in 1984, producing
engines and lawnmowers. The company has invested more than $9 billion
in its North American operations, with employment of more than 35,000
associates, and annual purchases of more than $17.6 billion in parts
and materials from suppliers in North America.


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