Honda Motor Co.'s unit, Honda Aircraft Co., announced that its first HondaJet aircraft, which can apply for Federal Aviation Administration certification, lifted off recently. The flight marks an important step for Honda Aircraft as the initial flight of its first business jet that meets Federal Aviation Administration standards kicks off the federal certification process.
Honda Aircraft operates out of Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C. In 2003, the company flew its first jet, but since it didn’t have FAA approval, the aircraft could not be sold commercially.
Honda’s new version of the jet was built with parts that meet FAA standards, meaning that the jet can be used for FAA certification tests. CEO Michimasa Fujino hailed the 51-minute flight as a milestone for the company.
He said the company is “very encouraged” by the initial review of the flight data, which shows that the conforming HondaJet performed as expected. Honda Aircraft, since announcing its intentions to build the light business jets, claims to have received more than 100 orders. Delivery is scheduled for the third quarter of 2012.
Honda Aircraft Company President and CEO Michimasa Fujino shared an important milestone of the HondaJet program – its having completed its first flight. The HondaJet was assembled and then tested under the FAA certification process, which is rather strict. The company was pleased, Fujino related, that its first flight was successful.
He shared that the team worked really hard to reach this important step of the program and the results reflect the company’s focus and determination when it came to developing a class-leading aircraft, he further related. The initial review of the HonaJet’s flight data was very encouraging and indicated that it performed as expected, said Fujino.
As the company moved forward, it continued to focus its every effort and energy to provide customers what may be considered as the most advanced light business jet ever made, Fujino concluded. So that the company’s certification program would continue to be supported, the company managed to finish its second aircraft that also conformed to FAA certification.
This second aircraft had already undergone the different structural tests needed in order for it to start its certification flight testing. Honda had already completed mating the main assemblies for its third aircraft, which is FAA-conforming as well. It is currently in its systems installation stage.
The third aircraft is aimed to be used for mechanical systems flight testing and was scheduled to be finished in the early part of 2011. The HondaJet certification program is expected to have five FAA-conforming aircraft, with an additional one for flight test and another for structural test.