Honda Aircraft celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the HondaJet prototype’s first flight on Tuesday. “The proof-of-concept HondaJet first flight was a pinnacle moment,” Honda Aircraft president and CEO Michimasa Fujino told AIN. “Our team had spent years researching and testing the advanced theories and concepts incorporated into the aircraft’s innovative design,” which includes its over-the-wing engine mounting.
Bombardier plans to issue an update on the flight-test schedule of its new CSeries jet “in a few weeks” as program managers assess whether to maintain the company’s admittedly ambitious entry-into-service target date of one year after first flight, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft marketing vice president Philippe Poutissou told AIN last week during a briefing at the Dubai Airshow.
Airbus has “done really well with [A350-900] flight test [and] in the first phase has gathered a lot [of information],” according to executive vice-president and program head Didier Evrard. By the beginning of November, the first two A350-900 twin-aisle twinjets had logged more than 100 flights and over 500 hours of testing.
Progress has proven slow–tediously slow–for Mitsubishi’s MRJ regional jet program during the two years between the 2011 Dubai Air Show and this one. In fact, program schedules reflect two separate year-and-a-half-long delays to certification since then, placing the company further from its elusive goal today than it thought it stood during the 2011 edition of the Middle East’s premier aerospace event.
The FAA issued a rule on November 5 specifically aimed at improving advanced pilot training for Part 121 pilots. The regulation is a direct result of a U.S. Congressional mandate following the 2009 crash of Colgan Flight 3407 near Buffalo, N.Y., in which the pilots first stalled and then lost control of the aircraft on approach.
After recently concluding all high-speed certification flights, the FAA has validated the Mach 0.935 maximum operating speed for Cessna’s new Citation X.
Bombardier said its CSeries flight-test program is progressing as planned, and its “target” remains to complete the program and certify the new airliner one year after first flight, or by next September. However, the manufacturer said that it is discussing a definitive schedule for the five-aircraft test program with its suppliers and customers. It will reveal the schedule “in the next few months,” according to Pierre Beaudoin, president and CEO.
New Citations are being equipped with the Cessna Diagnostic Maintenance System (CDMS). The system integrates event-driven and full-time data recording that provides maintenance needs on the pilot’s multi-function display and pushes the data to the aircraft’s service center.
Engine development drives aircraft development, so it should not be surprising that Honda is forecasting the certification date of its HondaJet based on the date of the certification of its engine, the GE Honda Aero Engines HF120. It’s more complicated than that, of course, but that’s the Cliff Notes version.
More than five weeks since the Bombardier CSeries FTV1 flew for the first time, the airplane has flown only two more times, taking its flight hour total to eight.
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