Honda Aircraft has started the production line for its $4.5 million HondaJet entry-level twinjet. A handful of initial customer aircraft are scheduled to be completed next year. Honda expects FAA certification of the HondaJet’s GE Honda HF120 engine (2,095 pounds of thrust/5,000-hour TBO) in the middle of next year and aircraft certification in 2013.
HondaJet president and CEO Michimasa Fujino was presented the 2012 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aircraft Design Award last week. The AIAA Aircraft Design Award “honors a design engineer or team for the conception, definition or development of an original concept, or career contributions leading to significant advancement in aircraft design or design technology.” According to the AIAA, Fujino is being recognized for pioneering the “unique” over-the-wing engine mount used on the in-development HondaJet.
Here we are in 2012, nearly 110 years since the Wright Brothers made the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air flight, and with some notable exceptions aircraft design over the years has become about as conservative and uninspired as a bowl of Jello.
The HondaJet fuselage displayed this week at EBACE was a production article with the production interior and cockpit. Some changes are evident in the fuselage, notably the removal of flip-down displays above each passenger seat.
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 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.
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.
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.”
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.