The static display at this year’s EBACE consisted of 53 aircraft – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter
I was fortunate enough to attend the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) again this year in Geneva. This is the premier business aviation event in Europe and is the second-largest gathering of industry professionals, following the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention in America.
This year’s EBACE attracted close to 500 exhibitors and 53 aircraft on static display. While this was not as impressive as last year’s event, there were still some new and interesting additions not previously seen. The clear highlight, for me, was checking out the HondaJet.
The HondaJet was the star of the show at EBACE – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter
This was the first public appearance of Honda’s new light business jet in Europe. The aircraft is most easily recognizable by its wing-mounted engines, something that is a major first. This unique design, increases the baggage volume and allows for a fully-enclosed lavatory to be fitted in the cabin. And who doesn’t appreciate that?
EAA AirVenture is more commonly known as Oshkosh – Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com
In July of 2012, I saw my twitter feed explode from all of the #OSH12 tweets. After a week getting insanely jealous of everyone, I decided that for 2013 I would be going to the EAA AirVenture show. I managed to get myself to Oshkosh from July 28th through August 3rd, which enabled me to see a large portion of the show.
I really only missed out on the mass arrivals on the 27th and the final night show on the 3rd; I could live with that. This was my first time at Oshkosh, so I was given a whole range of tips from fellow AirlineReporter.com correspondent Howard, who had attended a few years prior. He also set me up with a contact at EAA for a tour of the grounds, which was helpful, since it can be a bit overwhelming.
One of the HondaJets prepares for takeoff at EAA Airventure in Oshkosh – Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com
An unusual-looking business jet made an appearance at OshKosh 2013 and was followed in by a second identical aircraft. What were these unfamiliar aircraft? They were the third and fifth FAA-conforming HA-420 HondaJets, appearing for the first time together.
A uniquely-designed aircraft, the HondaJet will enter the small business jet market once the final rounds of FAA certification and testing are completed, estimated in 2014. Designed to carry six people (1 or 2 crew, along with 4 or 5 passengers), this small, light jet is a mixture of cutting-edge design, state-of-the-art technology, and a few new concepts to make it an expected class-leading aircraft.
The two examples flown to AirVenture were frame numbers 3 & 5, of a 6 aircraft-test fleet. Frame number 3, which joined the test program in 2011, is being used for mechanical systems testing, while aircraft number 5 has the first production-fitted interior and should anchor the final tests. Seeing the two aircraft side-by-side at Oshkosh on the very first day attracted quite a large crowd – including me.