HondaJet Program Approaches Final Phase of Flight Testing
GREENSBORO, N.C., U.S.A., May 20, 2013 - Honda Aircraft Company today announced that its fifth Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) conforming HondaJet, equipped with a production interior matching the final customer aircraft, successfully completed its first flight on May 16, 2013 at the company's world headquarters in Greensboro, N.C. With this achievement, the HondaJet program approaches the final phase of flight testing as the company advances toward FAA aircraft certification of the world's most advanced light jet.
An aircraft's first flight is an important and emotional milestone," said Honda Aircraft Company President and CEO Michimasa Fujino. "This is especially true for our fifth FAA-conforming HondaJet. This aircraft is equipped with a production interior and options, and it will anchor the final leg of our flight test program. From inside and out, this HondaJet matches the final configuration of a customer aircraft."
The light jet lifted off at 3:00 p.m. EDT from the Piedmont Triad International Airport (KGSO). During the 60-minute flight, the aircraft performed very smoothly with an initial climb to 12,000 feet reaching a top speed of 300 Knots True Air Speed (KTAS).
Howard Judd, pilot-in-command, and Stefan Johansson, co-pilot, completed several checks during the flight, including low and high speed handling characteristics, avionics and system functionality including the stall protection system. Data gathered during the flight was transmitted in real time to the company's on-site flight test telemetry operations for analysis.
This aircraft will be used for function and reliability (F&R) testing. F&R testing will simulate in-service flight operations of the aircraft. It has a production interior with standard lavatory and options including a side-facing seat, and will be used for interior and cabin systems tests. Future testing on the aircraft will also analyze the controller-pilot data link communications (CPDLC).
The fifth conforming HondaJet features the signature HondaJet paint scheme in a special edition blue and pearl white finish with a metallic gold stripe, an artistic moniker to signify the plane's unique role to the program. The cabin's color palette is parchment, a pale beige base that is one of two interior color options available on the HondaJet.
Since 2010, Honda Aircraft has developed and produced six FAA-conforming HondaJets. Four active flight test aircraft include:
- First conforming aircraft – aerodynamics, performance, and stability and control testing
- Third conforming aircraft – mechanical system testing
- Fourth conforming aircraft – avionics and electrical testing
- Fifth conforming aircraft – function and reliability (F&R) testing; and cabin system and interior, and options testing
Two ground test aircraft include:
- Second conforming aircraft – structural testing and retired from the ground test program in 2012 after successfully completing all ultimate load testing, European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) bird strike test, and seat attachment test
- Sixth conforming aircraft – structural testing and joined the program in October 2012; currently being used for static testing and damage tolerance testing
"Our flight test fleet maintains a very active schedule and continues to complete milestones for FAA certification flight testing," said Fujino.
The HondaJet is priced at $4.5 million (€3.41 million), and its design incorporates advanced technologies and concepts. The HondaJet patented Over-The-Wing Engine Mount (OTWEM) configuration, natural-laminar flow wing and fuselage nose and composite fuselage were developed from long-term research activities. These innovations combine to make the HondaJet the fastest, most spacious and most fuel-efficient jet in its class.
HondaJet is the world's most advanced light business jet aircraft, with best-in-class advantages in performance, comfort, quality and efficiency. The HondaJet is the fastest, highest-flying, quietest, and most fuel-efficient jet in its class. The HondaJet incorporates many technological innovations in aviation design, including the unique Over-The-Wing Engine Mount (OTWEM) configuration that dramatically improves performance and fuel efficiency by reducing aerodynamic drag. OTWEM design also reduces cabin sound, minimizes ground-detected noise, and allows for the roomiest cabin in class, the largest baggage capacity, and a fully serviceable private aft lavatory. The HondaJet is powered by two highly fuel-efficient GE Honda HF120 turbofan jet engines, and is equipped with the most sophisticated glass flight deck available in any light business jet, a Honda-customized Garmin® G3000 next-generation all-glass avionics system composed of three 14-inch landscape-format displays and dual touch-screen controllers. The HondaJet is Honda's first commercial aircraft and lives up to the company's reputation for superior performance, efficiency, quality and value.
Honda Aircraft Company
Honda Aircraft Company, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., was founded in 2006 though has its heritage in more than 20 years of groundbreaking aeronautical research and development. At Honda Aircraft's world headquarters in North Carolina, the birthplace of aviation, the company's associates work in more than 500,000 square feet of state-of-the-art R&D, manufacturing and administration headquarter buildings to develop, produce, market and support the HondaJet with HondaJet dealers. The challenging spirit upon which Mr. Soichiro Honda founded Honda Motor Co., Ltd. is alive today as Honda Aircraft fulfills one of Honda's long-standing dreams to advance human mobility skyward.