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Honda Takes To The Air With HondaJet’s First “Conforming” Test Flight

First delivery set for 2012.

by on Dec.21, 2010

With FAA approval, Honda hopes to deliver its first business jet in 2012.

Honda Aircraft Company Inc. has successfully completed the first flight of its FAA-conforming HondaJet advanced light business jet.

The event is a significant step in Honda’s aerospace program, which is expected to deliver an aircraft in 2012.

“This is a very important milestone for the HondaJet program,” said Michimasa Fujino, Honda Aircraft Company President and CEO.

“This aircraft was assembled and tested under strict FAA certification processes, and we are very pleased to have achieved this successful first flight. Our team has worked extremely hard to reach this critical step in the HondaJet program, and these results reflect Honda’s focus and determination to develop a class-leading aircraft,” Fujino said.

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The first conforming test of a HondaJet started from Honda Aircraft Company’s world headquarters facility at the Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The HondaJet remained aloft for 51 minutes, during which time the aircraft’s flight characteristics and performance were analyzed and systems checks were conducted, Fujino said.

“We are very encouraged by our initial review of the flight data, which indicates the conforming HondaJet performed as expected. As we move forward, we will continue to focus all of our efforts and energy to deliver to our customers the most advanced light business jet yet created,” said Fujino.

Honda expects to complete five FAA-conforming aircraft, including one additional flight test aircraft and one additional structural test aircraft.  Conforming flights are designed to demonstrate that not only can an aircraft take to the air but that it meets the various strict standards of the Federal Aviation Administration.  Otherwise the craft would not be approved for commercial sale.

The company also is nearing completion of its aircraft production plant in Greensboro, which is scheduled for completion in early 2011. Once its finished, Honda will begin moving equipment and employees into the plant and pre-production preparations and training necessary to support HondaJet production ramp-up beginning in 2012.

Honda Aircraft Company, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Honda Motor Company, Ltd., has collected orders for well over 100 HondaJet advanced light business jets.  The HondaJet proof-of-concept aircraft has accumulated more than 500 flight test hours and attained both a top speed of 420 knots (483 mph) and a maximum altitude of 43,000 ft. in flight testing.

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