Eurocopter’s compound helicopter demonstrator, the X3, reached 232 ktas, above the stated goal of 220 knots, last month. This speed was maintained “for several minutes” in “stable, level flight.” The aircraft had taken off from Istres flight test center in southeast France, near the manufacturer’s Marignane headquarters.
As the investigation into the cause of the fatal crash of a Gulfstream G650 during an April test flight continues, company officials acknowledge there will likely be some certification delays for the large cabin jet, but they have confidence that the inquiry will conclude soon enough to allow it to complete the FAA certification program this year.
Gulfstream Aerospace resumed flying the G650 on Saturday, nearly two months after suspending the flight-test program following an April 2 fatal accident involving G650 S/N 6002. Senior experimental test pilots Jake Howard and Tom Horne flew S/N 6001 on a one hour, 39 minute flight that originated and terminated at Savannah (Ga.) International Airport.
As the HondaJet enters the final phases of FAA and EASA certification, Honda Aircraft employees are preparing for volume production and first deliveries, scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2012. The 263,400-sq-ft Honda Aircraft production facility in Greensboro, North Carolina, opened in April.
Today at EBACE, Honda Aircraft said it has achieved new milestones during flight testing of the first conforming HondaJet (F1), which has reached a maximum speed of 425 ktas, rate of climb of 3,990 fpm and maximum operating altitude of 43,000 feet. Powered by two GE Honda HF120 turbofans, the $4.5 million HondaJet is scheduled for entry into service in the third quarter of next year.
Gulfstream announced today that the second G250 flight-test aircraft, S/N 2002, successfully completed natural icing tests, bringing the super-midsize jet closer to its planned FAA and Israeli CAA certification later this year. The twinjet was flown from its home base in Tel Aviv, Israel, to Smyrna, Tenn., where it spent several weeks flying to the Great Lakes region to hunt for natural icing conditions aloft.
Gulfstream has completed several icing certification test points on the G250. S/N 2001 has flown with simulated ice shapes applied to the non-heated areas of the aircraft, including the nose, tail, winglets and engine pylons. Meanwhile, S/N 2002 completed anti-ice system dry-air testing, paving the way for certification flight testing into known icing conditions, which at press time were expected to start in the U.S.
On December 20, Honda Aircraft achieved a milestone in the development of the HA-420 HondaJet when it flew the first conforming HondaJet, launching the formal flight-test program that will lead to FAA certification next year and first deliveries in the third quarter of 2012.
Gulfstream G650 S/N 6005–the fifth and final flight-test iteration of the new wide-cabin business jet–lifted off yesterday for the first time, flying for 2+46. The five G650s in the program have now surpassed 1,100 hours of flight testing. On its first flight, S/N 6005 launched from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport at 12:07 p.m., eventually reaching Mach 0.94 and 51,000 feet before landing at 2:53 p.m.
A day after resuming certification flight testing on the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing announced this morning that it expects delivery of the first production airplane to Japan’s All Nippon Airways in the third quarter of this year.