Greensboro Hopes HondaJet Expands Current Test Site

Since 2000, Honda has quietly developed the HondaJet in windowless buildings at Piedmont Triad. It hasn't named a factory site, but it already has 100 orders for its new jet at $3.65 million a piece. The pace of the sales far exceeds Honda's early goals.

His design of mounting jet engines above the wing persuaded Honda. The mounting saves space under the wings and enables Honda to build the cabin larger while keeping the overall body compact and cheap to operate.

"The original concept is I wanted to design a very efficient airplane which can be used by very many people. Not just by very rich people but by more people to improve their life," he said.

Last week, the company said it has begun the three-year federal approval process. The highly detailed process involves inspections and approvals for almost every facet of the new plane's design.

Although Fujino flies to Japan for frequent meetings, he views Greensboro as home now for him, his wife and three children, ages 12, 8 and 6.

"I committed myself to the project," he said, "so I think Greensboro's now my home."

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