Michimasa Fujino, president and CEO of Honda Aircraft Co., announced recent certification milestones for the company’s HondaJet yesterday at EBACE, while unveiling new enhancements for the VLJ’s avionics and cabin management system (CMS).
Honda HA-420 HondaJet
Honda Aircraft president and CEO Michimasa Fujino announced recent certification milestones for the company’s HondaJet today at EBACE, while unveiling new enhancements for the light jet’s avionics and cabin management system (CMS).
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.
GE Aviation, while it may still be associated largely with commercial and military powerplants, has been focusing its gaze on the business aviation market over the past several years.
Shawn O’Day, head of the company’s business and general aviation marketing, told AIN that although business aviation has historically been a segment of opportunity for GE, it is an area where the engine and systems maker sees potential. In fact, the company signaled its intention to expand its business and general aviation footprint at last year’s Paris Air Show.
On Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of the start of flight testing for its first conforming light jet, Honda announced that its third FAA design-conforming HondaJet (F2) joined the test program.
Aerostructures specialist GKN (Booth No. C7127) is looking to leverage its expertise in commercial airliner technology to break further ground in the business aviation world. The UK-based group is promising breakthroughs that could shave hundreds of valuable pounds off aircraft structural and system weights.
Deliveries of the HondaJet will be delayed until at least mid-2013 because of a late-stage redesign of the GE Honda Aero HF120 engine that powers it. The engine fan has undergone the redesign following a failure during an on-ground ice ingestion test, Honda Aircraft president Michimasa Fujino revealed at NBAA 2011 in Las Vegas today. Fujino said he expected the revamped engine to be certified sometime in the second half of 2012. He called the delay “regrettable.”
Nexcelle (GE Aviation, Booth No. 1833) is developing the nacelles for two new engines from GE Aviation and CFM International, a partnership between GE and Safran for business and commercial aircraft: the GE Passport 20 and the CFM International Leap-X1C.
GE is here with three major programs at various stages of development. The Passport 20, for Bombardier’s Global 7000 and 8000 large-cabin business jets, has already passed some rig tests. The GE Honda HF120, for the HondaJet and the (currently suspended) Spectrum Freedom, is scheduled for certification in 2012. Meanwhile, the HF80 turboprop is due for certification later this year.
If anyone doubts Honda Motor Company’s commitment to the general aviation industry, a visit to Honda Aircraft’s new 623,000-sq-ft factory at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C., underscores the significant investment the company has made.