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Honda Aircraft Company announced that the first production HondaJet achieved its initial flight, marking another milestone toward aircraft certification and entry into service in 2015.
The event took place at the company’s world headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina.The first production aircraft lifted off 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). 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 test pilot 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 steady 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 through the HondaJet dealer network.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 a fast, spacious and fuel-efficient jet.
GKN Aerospace is the supplier of the composite, light-weight bonded fuselage for this aircraft which is manufactured at the company’s facility in Alabama, USA and assembled at its facility in Orangeburg, South Carolina, USA. This fuselage is constructed of integral co-cured structure and honeycomb sandwich structures integrally in an autoclave. This innovative manufacturing process reduces manufacturing complexity whilst the composite structure produces a lighter fuselage that offers greater fuel efficiency and significantly increased interior cabin space.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).More information: www.hondajet.com - www.gkn.com