In The Works: Honda Aircraft HondaJet

 - February 6, 2012, 12:10 AM
HondaJet F2

Honda Aircraft’s third FAA design-conforming flight test prototype–F2–made its first flight on Nov. 18, 2011, from Honda Aircraft headquarters at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C. Stephan Johansson captained the flight, along with copilot Tom Maurer. The 44-minute first test flight reached 12,480 feet and 245 ktas and included flap and landing-gear operation and handling tests at low speed and up to 200 ktas as well as air data systems checks and an ILS approach using the flight director in the HondaJet’s Garmin G3000 avionics suite.

ST1, the second conforming HondaJet, is being used for structural testing and was tasked with completing all limit load testing last year. F1, the first conforming flight-test HondaJet, made its first flight less than a year earlier, on Dec. 20, 2010. The next two conforming jets, F3 and F4, will fly this year.

Progress continues on the HondaJet program, but certification has been pushed back until 2013, due to a redesign of the GE Honda Aero HF120 engine’s fan. The engine failed an on-ground ice-ingestion test, and it is now expected to be certified in the second half of this year. Prototype F3 will not fly until the new engines are ready. The blades of the redesigned single-forging blisk-type fan will be slightly thicker.