recently announced record sales of its cars in the Asian region. The Group that
makes cars and SUVs for the global market, is now literally flying high. Honda Aircraft Company has announced that the
first production HondaJet achieved its initial flight. The plane enters into
service in 2015. The event took place at the company's world headquarters in
Greensboro, North Carolina, in the US.
Aircraft Company President and CEO Michimasa Fujino said with this first flight
the HondaJet programme hasmoved on to the next critical phase where it gets
ready to deliver the planes. He said the celebration marked the culmination of
extensive engineering and production efforts of the company in bringing the
world's most advanced light jet to market.
aircraft began its flight from the Piedmont Triad International Airport (KGSO)
at 10:18 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. During the 84-minute flight, the aircraft
climbed to 15,500 feet and reached a speed of 348 Knots True Airspeed (KTAS). Once
the plane landed, the crew was greeted by more than 1,000 Honda Aircraft team
members to commemorate the milestone.
was piloted by test pilot Warren Gould, pilot-in-command. The airplane went
through several checks during the flight including low and high speed handling
characteristics, avionics and system functionality. This included testing the landing
gear, flaps and speed brake operations.
aircraft was painted in the new signature HondaJet paint scheme in a deep green
pearl with a gold stripe. Customers will also have the choice of other colours
like silver, red, yellow and blue.
HondaJet will be single-pilot certified and is currently offered for sale in
North America and Europe through the HondaJet dealer network. It is the world's
most advanced light jet, and its distinctive design incorporates advanced
technologies and concepts. There are several patents like Over-The-Wing Engine
Mount (OTWEM) configuration, natural laminar flow wing, and composite fuselage for
the jet. These were developed from long-term research activities. All this has
contributed in making the HondaJet the fastest, most spacious and most
fuel-efficient jet in its class.
HondaJet flies at a maximum cruise speed of 420 knots and has a maximum
altitude of 43,000 feet. The aircraft seats up to five passengers in a standard
configuration and can travel at an NBAA IFR range of 1,180 nautical miles
(1,357 miles), said a company release.
Source: Honda Aircraft Company