(Corrects final paragraph to show Honda has not decided on
TOKYO May 21 Honda Motor Co Ltd's
small passenger jet will not be licensed to fly by authorities
in the United States until the second half of 2014, a year later
than the company originally planned, Honda said on Tuesday.
Honda expects the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to
certify the unconventional-looking HondaJet late next year, the
company said in a statement. It had initially expected the
aircraft to win flight approval in 2013, but this was held up
due to a minor issue in the certification procedure, which has
since been resolved.
"There was a minor issue in the process of the engine
approval, but the fundamental design of the jet is not being
swayed by this," Honda spokesman Shigeki Endo said.
Multiple test flights have been successful and Honda is
pressing on with more flights, he added.
The HondaJet's engines sit on top of its wings, an usual
configuration which the firm says gives it more cabin space and
better fuel-efficiency than rival business jets.
Boeing Co has this year been hit by the grounding of
the 787 Dreamliner jet, whose lithium-ion battery system was
redesigned and reinstalled after two separate incidents of
HondaJet's delay in approval has nothing to do with its
battery system, Endo said. Honda is considering whether to use a
lithium-ion battery in the jet but that has yet to be decided,
(Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)