By Steve & Tamami Laser; with Nahoko Osuka reporting from Japan
It was a moment of great pride for Honda as the first HondaJet touched down at Haneda Airport in Tokyo on April 23 signaling the public debut of the business jet in Japan. Thirty years in the making and the dream of Honda Motor Co. founder Soichiro Honda, the new American-built aircraft began the first leg of a world tour that will take it to several stops in Japan before heading to Europe.
The HondaJet is scheduled to travel more than 48,000 km (more than 26,000 nautical miles) in total while stopping in more than 13 countries to conduct flight demonstrations at multiple cities in Japan and Europe.
“The HondaJet world tour is a tribute to Honda’s challenging spirit to bring something truly innovative to business aviation,” said Honda Aircraft Company President and CEO Michimasa Fujino. “We are excited to introduce the HondaJet to Japan and Europe for the first time. As part of this special tour, we will conduct demonstration flights to share what Honda has accomplished.”
The company says the HondaJet is the world’s most advanced light business jet aircraft, with best-in-class advantages in performance, comfort, quality and efficiency. The HondaJet is said to be the fastest, highest-flying, quietest, and most fuel-efficient jet in its class.
“Entering into the aircraft industry, which adds a third dimension to our mobility products, was a dream of our company founder, Mr. Soichiro Honda,” said Takanobu Ito, President & CEO, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. “Honda is proudly presenting HondaJet, equipped with the HF120 GE Honda new-generation turbofan engine, which will carve out a new set of standards for the performance and comfort of a light business jet.”
“Honda’s corporate slogan is The Power of Dreams,” said Ito. “We want to realize the joy and freedom of mobility and a sustainable society where people can enjoy life in the sky as well. Moreover, Honda wants to continue to be a mobility company that takes on bold challenges for new technologies in the areas of motorcycles, automobiles, power products, robotics, hydrogen and aircraft.”
The new HondaJet is powered by two highly fuel-efficient GE Honda HF120 turbofan jet engines, and is equipped with the most sophisticated glass flight deck available in any light business jet. The Honda-customized Garmin® G3000 next-generation, all-glass avionics system is composed of three 14-inch landscape-format displays and dual touch-screen controllers offering enhanced navigation, flight planning, and control. The cockpit is built around the pilot to enable either single-pilot or dual-pilot operation of the HondaJet.
Honda says the aircraft incorporates many technological innovations in aviation design, including the unique Over-The-Wing Engine Mount (OTWEM) configuration that is said to dramatically improve performance and fuel efficiency by reducing aerodynamic drag.
The HondaJet flies at a maximum cruise speed of 420 knots (483 mph) and has a maximum altitude of 43,000 feet. The cabin 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).
The OTWEM design also reduces cabin sound, minimizes ground-detected noise, and allows for the roomiest cabin in its class with the largest baggage capacity. Honda says it’s much more than a cabin: It’s a workspace, thinking space, quiet space, and a relaxing space. Honda designers considered every detail, from the completely adjustable executive seating to the fully serviceable private lavatory and other modern amenities.
The HondaJet is being manufactured at Honda Aircraft Company’s world headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina, where the company says aircraft production is underway in preparation for customer deliveries. The final assembly line is full with 12 aircraft and another five are currently in the production flow. Honda Aircraft says it will begin first deliveries after FAA type certification is achieved.
Imagine answering the call of nature in a Honda while traveling more than 400 miles per hour above 40,000 feet. This modern aft-mounted lavatory is just one of the many first-class conveniences found aboard the new HondaJet.
In Japan, Honda Aircraft Company is scheduled to showcase the HondaJet at public events including static displays of the HondaJet on the ground as well as flight demonstrations at various airports.
HondaJet Receives Provisional Type Certification from the Federal Aviation Administration
Watch the first production HondaJet take its maiden flight in North Carolina in this video from June 27, 2014. (video: Honda Aircraft Company)
In related news, Honda Aircraft Company announced in March that the HondaJet received provisional type certification (PTC) from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The company says this achievement indicates the FAA’s approval of the HondaJet design based on certification testing, design reviews, and analyses completed to date.
A provisional type certificate is a design approval by the FAA and is common for business jets when final certification is near. Honda Aircraft has demonstrated that the HondaJet is “safe for flight and meets the airworthiness standards defined by the PTC.” Honda Aircraft is targeting final FAA type certification in the next few months, following the completion of final testing and approval by the FAA.
The four HondaJets in the flight test fleet have performed as expected and flown more than 2,500 hours. The flight test program has conducted extensive testing for certification at more than 70 locations in the United States.
Honda Aircraft Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Founded in 2006, Honda Aircraft has its heritage in more than 20 years of groundbreaking aeronautical research and development. At Honda Aircraft’s world headquarters in North Carolina, the birthplace of aviation, the company’s associates work in more than 600,000 square feet of state-of-the-art R&D, production, administration and customer service facilities to develop, produce, market and support the HondaJet with HondaJet dealers.
The HondaJet is currently offered for sale in North America and Europe through the HondaJet dealer network. For more information visit HondaJet.com
News source, photos and video from Honda Motor Co. Ltd., and Honda Aircraft Co.
Story ©2015 CarNichiWa.com / information is subject to change without notice