HondaJet successfully completed its first flight

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 23, 2010

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.

Press Release

Honda Achieves First Flight of FAA-Conforming HondaJet

Honda Aircraft Company, Inc., today announced that it has successfully completed the first flight of its FAA-conforming HondaJet advanced light business jet. The event is a significant step in Honda's aerospace program leading to delivery of aircraft in 2012.

The first conforming HondaJet lifted off yesterday, December 20, 2010, at 15:31 EST from Honda Aircraft Company's world headquarters facility at the Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina. The HondaJet remained aloft for 51 minutes, during which time the aircraft's flight characteristics and performance were analyzed and systems checks were conducted. Various test data gathered during the flight were transmitted real-time to Honda's flight test telemetry operations base within the company's world headquarters facility.

"This is a very important milestone for the HondaJet program," said Michimasa Fujino, Honda Aircraft Company President and CEO. "This aircraft was assembled and tested under strict FAA certification processes, and we are very pleased to have achieved this successful first flight. Our team has worked extremely hard to reach this critical step in the HondaJet program, and these results reflect Honda's focus and determination to develop a class-leading aircraft."

"We are very encouraged by our initial review of the flight data, which indicates the conforming HondaJet performed as expected. As we move forward, we will continue to focus all of our efforts and energy to deliver to our customers the most advanced light business jet yet created," said Fujino.

To support the company's certification program, Honda has completed its second FAA-conforming aircraft, which already has undergone numerous structural tests required for commencement of certification flight testing. Honda also has completed mating of main assemblies for its third FAA-conforming aircraft, which is now in the systems installation phase of completion. This third conforming aircraft, to be used mainly for mechanical systems flight testing, is scheduled to be completed in early 2011. A total of five FAA-conforming aircraft, including one additional flight test aircraft and one additional structural test aircraft, are planned to support the HondaJet certification program.

While Honda enters the flight test program with its conforming HondaJet, the company also nears completion of its aircraft production facility on its Greensboro campus. The 266,000 ft2 HondaJet production facility is scheduled for completion in early 2011, with the final phase of interior build-out now underway. Upon completion of the production facility, Honda will begin the process of moving equipment and personnel into the facility and undertaking pre-production preparations and training necessary to support HondaJet production ramp-up beginning in 2012.

About HondaJet
Honda Aircraft Company, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Honda Motor Company, Ltd., has amassed orders for well over 100 HondaJet advanced light business jets. Scheduled for first delivery in the third quarter of 2012, the $4.5 million HondaJet is Honda's first-ever commercial aircraft and lives up to the company's reputation for dynamic performance together with superior efficiency. The HondaJet proof-of-concept aircraft has accumulated more than 500 flight test hours and attained both a top speed of 420 knots (483 mph) and a maximum altitude of 43,000 ft. in flight testing.

The HondaJet incorporates many innovative technological advances in aviation design, including a unique over-the-wing engine-mount configuration that dramatically improves aircraft performance and fuel efficiency by significantly reducing aerodynamic drag in flight. This innovative approach to airframe design also lowers ground-detected noise when overhead and allows for a more spacious cabin and greater cargo capacity. The HondaJet is powered by two highly fuel-efficient GE Honda HF120 turbofan jet engines.

The production HondaJet flight deck features a Honda-customized Garmin® G3000 next-generation all-glass avionics system incorporating a class-leading layout with three 14-inch landscape-format displays and dual touch-screen controllers for overall avionics control and flight plan entries. The HondaJet Avionics Suite is the most advanced glass flight deck available in any light business jet and provides state-of-the-art integrated avionics functionality featuring split screen MFD capability, satellite weather, graphical synoptics, digital audio, and optional Synthetic Vision.

Topics: hondajet, honda, airplane

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