HondaJet on Track (Well, “Track” May Be the Wrong Word, But. . .)
In case you were wondering, Honda’s business jet project is still on track. Last week at the National Business Aviation Association convention Honda Aircraft president and CEO Michimasa Fujino stated, “In addition to the more than 500 flight hours we have accumulated on the proof-of-concept HondaJet, the successful completion of this robust range of static structural stress test on the conforming aircraft significantly reinforces the advantage of the HondaJet’s advanced design.”
The static structural testing he referenced, performed at the company’s R&D facility in Greensboro, NC, included: 100% limit-load wing tests, 100% limit-load horizontal stabilizer tests, wing stiffness tests, landing gear load tests, pylon stiffness tests, and fuselage pressure tests. The static structural tests are performed on a system incorporating 61 hydraulic actuators and a 2,600-channel data acquisition system. Key elements of the entire aircraft can be tested simultaneously with the rig.
As for the flight testing, the proof-of-concept aircraft has attained a top speed of 420 knots and reached a maximum altitude of 43,000 ft.
As for the “advantage” Fujino spoke of, this is predicated on the design of the aircraft, most notably the over-the-wing engine mount configuration, which reduces aerodynamic drag during flight, thereby improving performance and the fuel efficiency of the GE Honda HF120 turbofan jet engines.
The aircraft will be manufactured in a 250,000-sq. ft. plant being built in Greensboro; it is scheduled for completion early in 2011.
The delivery of the first $4.5-million aircraft is scheduled for Q3 2012. Honda has orders for “well over 100 aircraft.” That may not be in the realm of Accord numbers, but for $4.5-million you could get about 214 Accords.