The first production HondaJet has achieved its initial flight from Honda Aircraft Company’s world headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina, marking another milestone toward aircraft certification and entry into service in 2015.
“With this first flight, the HondaJet program has entered the next exciting phase as we prepare for delivery,” said Honda Aircraft Company President and CEO Michimasa Fujino. “Today’s celebration is the culmination of extensive engineering and production efforts and this is an important achievement in bringing the world’s most advanced light jet to market.”
The first production aircraft climbed to 15,500 feet during the 84 minute flight and reached a speed of 348 Knots True Airspeed (KTAS). Following a smooth landing, the aircraft and its crew were greeted by more than 1,000 Honda Aircraft team members to commemorate the milestone.
The aircraft was flown by Warren Gould, pilot-in-command. The crew completed several checks during the flight including low and high speed handling characteristics, avionics and system functionality including landing gear, flaps and speed brake operations.
Aircraft production continues its steady pace in advance of entry into service. This ongoing build-up supports the company’s objective to have aircraft ready for delivery immediately after Federal Aviation Administration type certification is achieved. The HondaJet will be single-pilot certified and is currently offered for sale in North America and Europe.
The HondaJet is the world’s most advanced light jet and its distinctive design incorporates advanced technologies and concepts. The HondaJet patented Over-The-Wing Engine Mount (OTWEM) configuration, natural laminar flow wing and composite fuselage were developed from long-term research activities. These innovations combine to make the HondaJet the fastest, most spacious and most fuel-efficient jet in its class.
The HondaJet flies at a maximum cruise speed of 420 knots (483 mph) 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).