Honda Aircraft Co. has successfully completed the first flight of its FAA-conforming HondaJet light business jet.
The first conforming HondaJet lifted off yesterday, Dec. 20, at 15:31 EST from Honda Aircraft Co.’s world headquarters facility at the Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO) 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, 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-square-foot HondaJet production facility is scheduled for completion in early 2011, with the final phase of interior build-out 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.
Honda Aircraft, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., has orders for more than 100 HondaJets. Scheduled for first delivery in the third quarter of 2012, the $4.5 million HondaJet is Honda’s first-ever commercial aircraft. The HondaJet proof-of-concept aircraft has accumulated more than 500 flight test hours and attained a top speed of 420 knots (483 mph) and a maximum altitude of 43,000 feet in flight testing, according to company officials. The HondaJet is powered by two GE Honda HF120 turbofan jet engines.
The production HondaJet flight deck features a Honda-customized Garmin G3000 next-generation all-glass avionics system with three 14-inch landscape-format displays and dual touch-screen controllers for overall avionics control and flight plan entries.
For more information: HondaJet.com