Aircraft

Latest HondaJet test aircraft lifts-off

Honda's latest FAA-conforming test aircraft known as F2 has now begun flight testing
Honda's latest FAA-conforming test aircraft known as F2 has now begun flight testing
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Honda's latest FAA-conforming test aircraft known as F2 has now begun flight testing
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Honda's latest FAA-conforming test aircraft known as F2 has now begun flight testing
HondaJet's high-tech cockpit
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HondaJet's high-tech cockpit

Honda's first ever commercial aircraft, appropriately named the HondaJet, follows in the footsteps of the company's ground-breaking CB750 motorcycle and S600 sports car by aiming to provide superior performance and value - this time in the light business jet market. Continuing an intensive flight test regime to meet U.S. Federal Aviation Authority approval that began one year ago, the latest FAA-conforming test aircraft known as F2 has now begun flight testing out of the company's headquarters at Greensboro's Piedmont Triad International Airport.

F2 made its maiden flight on November 18, 2011, performing a variety of checks during takeoff, climb and cruising phases. These included landing gear operation, flap operations, aircraft handling and air data system checks, followed by an Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach and landing.

"The first flight of a flight test aircraft is an important milestone for an aircraft certification program, and the fact that we achieved F2's first flight shortly after receiving its engines illustrates our team's preparation and readiness," said Michimasa Fujino, President and CEO of Honda Aircraft Company, and the man responsible for the distinctive over-the-wing (rather than under-wing or fuselage-mounted) engine-mount design which goes back to 1997.

Two additional flight test aircraft, the F3 and F4, are expected to be ready in 2012. The company also plans to begin further structural testing with additional structural test aircraft in 2012, so it looks like customer deliveries of the US$3.65 million aircraft - which were originally slated for 2010 - are still some way off.

The first FAA-conforming HondaJet, the F1, which flew for the first time on December 20, 2010, has already achieved key benchmarks that meet or exceed the aircraft's designed performance goals. In March, Honda Aircraft reported the aircraft achieved a maximum speed of 425 KTAS (True Air Speed in Knots - 489 mph) at 30,000 feet, surpassing the company's performance commitment of 420 KTAS. The aircraft has since achieved a climb rate of 4,000 feet per minute, beating its target of 3,990 FPM, and a maximum operating altitude of 43,000 feet.

HondaJet's high-tech cockpit
HondaJet's high-tech cockpit

After nearly fifteen years in development, HondaJet is still claimed to be the most advanced light business jet aircraft, offering advantages in performance, comfort, quality and efficiency. Technological innovations, such as the unique over-the-wing engine-mount configuration for the two GE Honda HF120 turbofan jet engines are claimed to improve performance and fuel efficiency by reducing aerodynamic drag. At the same time, this airframe design reduces noise inside the cabin and on the ground, as well as providing a roomier cabin with greater cargo space compared to a fuselage-mounted engine configuration. The flight deck is also leading edge with the Garmin G3000 next-generation all-glass avionics system, three 14-inch displays and dual touch-screen controllers.

Video of F2 first flight can be viewed at the HondaJet site.

16 comments
Pres
Is not the Honda Jet already certified in Japan (& other countries)?
DemonDuck
But it\'s just an ugly airplane. Doesn\'t matter how technically advanced it is. It\'s ugly....
MD
Unconventional... Don\'t like it, that\'s too bad, you will get used to it. I suppose you don\'t mind many of the bland modern cars now, but then the bubble cars appeared in the 1990\'s they were plain ugly... NO corners ugh...
Mirmillion
If it can compete with the Piaggio Avanti turbo-prop pusher (in terms of cost of operation), it will be successful.
dsiple
Interesting how the jets are on pylons above the wing and the canards are much taller proportionately to the wing. Odd looking or not, Honda doesn\'t build junk. I think it\'s more of a new beginning for them.
Todd Dunning
The open-cockpit Del Sol version will be cool
bas
The "distinctive engine-over-the-wing design" first flew in July of 1971, having been proposed in 1961. The aircraft , the VFW614 was described as ahead of its time, and with a capacity of 36 - 40 seats a candidate for regional airlines, which at that time did not really exist. For those look up VFW-614 on Wikipedia.
DemonDuck
Those are winglets not canards...
SpaceBagels
Honda just designs it different for the sake of \'being different\'. But all in all it looks ugly. I wouldn\'t want to fly in one of these. Form follows function. I bet it functions teribbly.
Bill Bennett
oh demonduck and spacebagels I feel so sad for you two, I would explain to you that Honda makes great well thought out products like my Sons RSX type S . me thinks you would not understand the joy of shifting at 9500 rpm, this is from a URQ owner that loves the sound at 6750 rpm on the I5, Honda rocks!