Honda’s “research project” light jet now has its first logbook entry. The six-passenger HondaJet (its now-official provisional name) broke ground for the first time on December 3 from Honda’s purpose-built research facility at Piedmont Triad Regional Airport (GSO), Greensboro, N.C., on the leasehold of FBO and mod specialist Atlantic Aero.
Honda HA-420 HondaJet
Twenty years after beginning a quest to develop a jet, Michimasa Fujino stood proudly at the Honda display during last year’s NBAA Convention as Honda Motor president and CEO Takeo Fukui honored him with a public display of support for the HondaJet program. The announcements that followed signaled the beginning of sales for the $3.65 million jet, and by the end of the show Honda Aircraft had logged orders for more than 100 aircraft.
For this year’s look in the crystal ball, AIN added a number of aircraft to the list to reflect ongoing programs more accurately. While many of these aircraft are derivative and not original certifications, they are still new and deserve to be counted.
Honda engineers built a non-motion simulator–the Honda Nonlinear Aerodynamics Flight Simulator–for test-pilot training and to evaluate the flight characteristics of the jet’s configuration. Tests conducted on the simulator include deep stall, spin, one-engine-out and deployment of the dynamic spin chute.
During a briefing held on November 20, Honda Aircraft president Michimasa Fujino showed off the extensive research and testing that the Honda team has accomplished thus far on the HondaJet and parceled out a few more details about the program.
A day before Honda Aircraft formally announced that the HondaJet will use the GE-Honda HF120 engine, Spectrum Aeronautical announced that its new all-composite midsize Freedom S-40 jet will be powered by the HF120, at a thrust rating of more than 2,000 pounds. The stand-up-cabin Freedom will cruise at up to 435 knots, and fly 2,200 nm at up to 45,000 feet. Certification and entry-into-service is set for 2010.
Honda Aircraft and Spectrum Aeronautical both announced at the NBAA Convention that they will use the GE-Honda HF120 engine in their new business jets.
Honda Aircraft revealed the price, projected performance figures and other details of the HondaJet very light twinjet. The company plans to certify the jet for single-pilot operations under Part 23 and start deliveries in 2010, and it submitted a type certificate application to the FAA on October 11.
Piper’s prolonged pondering of a jet reached fruition at the NBAA Convention with an announcement today that it will design and build a very light jet with a “high-speed natural laminar flow wing” and powered by a single 2,400-pound-thrust turbofan. Piper plans to fly the PiperJet in spring 2008 and start deliveries in the first half of 2010.
Piper Aircraft will reveal details of its next-generation aircraft, widely believed to be a single-engine very light jet, during the NBAA Convention next month in Orlando, Fla. Piper officials have said it will fall between the $2 million Meridian turboprop single and the approximately $4 million HondaJet.