• Kyodo News

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Honda Motor Co. said Wednesday its U.S. aircraft business unit has launched sales of its advanced twin-engine business jet with a standard price tag of $3.65 million.

Honda Aircraft Co., founded in August in North Carolina, started accepting orders for the HondaJet at an annual meeting of the National Business Aviation Association in Florida on Tuesday, the Japanese carmaker said.

Honda also said it filed an application with the Federal Aviation Administration last week for type certification required for the market introduction of the new jet, anticipating the certification coming within three to four years.

Honda Aircraft has tied up with U.S. light aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Inc. to market the jet, which is scheduled to go into production in 2010.

Honda said its joint venture with General Electric Co., GE Honda Aero Engines, has agreed to produce the HF120 turbofan engine for the HondaJet and the Freedom, a business jet planned by Spectrum Aeronautical LLC in California.

Honda said the GE-Honda HF120-powered HondaJet will feature a 30 percent to 35 percent increase in fuel efficiency compared with other jets of comparable performance, seating seven to eight, including two pilots.

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