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HondaJet enters production

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November 2, 2012

The HondaJet

The HondaJet

Image Gallery (24 images)

The Honda Aircraft Company has announced that its HA-420 HondaJet business jet is entering production. At a press conference at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) annual meeting and convention in Orlando, Florida, Honda announced that the “world’s most advanced light jet” had passed key testing milestones and is on its way to certification and delivery.

“An assembly line for HondaJet production is in place, major aircraft components including the fuselage and wing have been produced, and we have started assembly of the first customer aircraft,” said Honda Aircraft President and CEO Michimasa Fujino. “Commencing production is the most important milestone in the HondaJet program to date, with only the future Federal Aviation Administration Type Certification and first customer delivery ranking greater in significance.”

HondaJet passenger cabin

HondaJet is Honda’s first commercial aircraft. With a lightweight composite fuselage and reinforced aluminum wings, its distinctive profile comes from its over-the-wing engine-mount configuration for its two GE Honda HF120 turbofan jet engines. This is designed to improve performance and fuel efficiency by reducing aerodynamic drag.

Carrying up to six passengers, the HondaJet has a 12.15-meter (39-ft, 10-in) wingspan and overall length of 12.71 meters (41 ft, 8 in). Its cruising speed is 778 km/h (483 mph, 420 kn) and it has a range of 2,593 km (1,611 mi, 1,400 nmi). Its airframe design reduces cabin noise and ground-detected noise as well as providing more cabin space and greater cargo capacity. In the cockpit, there is a Honda-customized Garmin G3000 next-generation all-glass avionics system with three 14-inch landscape-format displays and dual touch-screen controllers.

HondaJet cockpit

The HondaJet has completed crew-seat crash tests, speedbrake testing, ultimate load tests, EASA windshield bird-strike testing, wind tunnel icing tests, night lighting testing, as well as extreme weather tests. Next year, Honda will provide the United States FAA with the latest two in a series of six HondaJets for flight testing.

The HondaJet also sees the introduction of new manufacturing processes for Honda that include making assembly floor instructions available on tablets, an on-site paint mixing system for thinner paint and the ability to paint several planes, and an Automatic Guided Cart (AGC) – a robot cart to pick up and deliver parts. In addition, Honda has begun construction of a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility capable of simultaneously servicing 12 HondaJets, and the installation of HondaJet flight simulators at the Honda Aircraft world headquarters campus in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Source Honda Aircraft Company

About the Author
David Szondy David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past.   All articles by David Szondy
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11 Comments

Nice plane, Honda makes good stuff. I do think the cruise speed should be a little higher.

Robert Lominick
2nd November, 2012 @ 05:01 pm PDT

Awesome.. To bad I will never be in one.. lol

Michael Mantion
2nd November, 2012 @ 05:37 pm PDT

Is there an option to order an Asimo flight crew with this?

Mark Townend
2nd November, 2012 @ 06:02 pm PDT

Will this Honda do to the aircraft world what the Honda 50 did to the motorcycle world?

I look forward with anticipation to see the spillover effects of aero technology into their cars, just like we used to have in SAAB. IMHO, Honda aeroplanes should lead to Honda becoming a major force in High performance and luxury cars.

Nantha Kumar Nithiahnanthan
3rd November, 2012 @ 04:13 am PDT

What's the advantage of placing the engines like that?

Dawar Saify
5th November, 2012 @ 06:15 am PST

They have been at this for 20 yrs so about time it actually got into production. The speed is about as fast as practical without greatly increasing fuel use.

No cost data and why not a composite wing lowering it's weight, cost and better aero?

jerryd
5th November, 2012 @ 08:31 am PST

It looks like a great little jet but "on its way to certification" isn't "enters production". I hope Honda sticks with it long enough to make it a profitable venture.

Dennis Roberts
5th November, 2012 @ 01:37 pm PST

Cute'n pretty stylish! Although the corporate paint job gives the nose a NEGATIVE frown from the side view that I really don't care for.

So flying across the American continent one way or the other will need one re fuel at least ..mmmh.

All that info and no PRICE indication. Will it be "affordable"?

Vic Vicarious
5th November, 2012 @ 02:46 pm PST

@ Robert Lominick Compare Honda jet with specs of Boeing 737 long range cruising speed 429kt Range with 128 passengers and standard fuel 1815nm

@Dawar Saify The engines placed on pylons above the wings provides optimum location. If they were placed on the fuselage Learjet style the fuselage would have to be strengthened requiring bracing resulting in a smaller cargo compartment and considerably increasing weight of the aircraft. Having the engines over the top of the undercarriage allows for a lighter undercarriage which takes up less space in the wings thus allowing more room for fuel tanks. If engines were at rear and the plane was involved in a heavy landing the weight of the engines combined with the moment arm (distance between undercarriage & engine) would twist the undercarriage like a corkscrew.

@Vic Vicarious

The most recent price figure I've seen for the Hondajet is $3.25 million but no doubt that is subject to buyer customisation.

I'm no aviation expert but have been reading about the aircraft and passing on what I've read.

Trebor
5th November, 2012 @ 07:43 pm PST

Subaru made a nice little plane that I still enjoy flying in. This looks more upmarket. I predict it will be a commercial flop because it does not look like a learjet.

nutcase
6th November, 2012 @ 05:34 am PST

Typically Honda, well thought through and guaranteed to be very efficient. Can't wait to see it.

coleighf
6th November, 2012 @ 09:04 am PST
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