Cutter Aviation recently showed off the new HondaJet – touted by the manufacturer as the “world’s most advanced light jet” – at Cutter’s headquarters at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Cutter serves as the HondaJet’s southwest distributor.
The company has sold more than 22 planes, according to a statement from Phoenix City Councilwoman Kate Gallego. She said the new line of aircraft would bring significant new tax revenue to Phoenix and Arizona.
The planes cost upwards of $5 million each – and because the company delivers the planes in Phoenix, that tax revenue stays here, said Genaro Sanchez, director of marketing and communications for Cutter Aviation.
Gallego also said the planes “will usher in a generation of high-wage jobs … including flight crews, mechanics, salespeople and support personnel.”
Sanchez said the company has no projections yet in terms of hiring, but it will need to hire more personnel. Cutter Aviation has about 250 employees throughout the southwest, with more than 50 working in Phoenix, he said.
Not only will Cutter Aviation sell the planes, but they plan to charter planes and provide maintenance as well.
Honda Aircraft Co. announced in December that it had begun deliveries of the jet after the Federal Aviation Administration certified it earlier that month, according to the company’s website. Sanchez said it took nine years to obtain the certification.
Chief Pilot Hall Lewallen, 28, said he has flown aircraft for more than 13 years, even before he had his driver’s license.
“It handles great, it handles like a sports car,” he said of the new jet. “That being said though, when you need to get it slowed down and come in and land, it’s just a piece of cake and very safe.”
The plane can reach up 420 knots.
“That’s about 488 miles per hour,” said Peter Kreigler, director of sales in the U.S. and Canada for the Honda Aircraft Co. “Other airplanes in this category are in the high 300-knot, 380-390 knot range for the most part.”