Honda Aircraft Company Begins HondaJet Production

31 10 2012

ORLANDO, FL – October 30, 2012 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Honda Aircraft Company announced today that it has commenced production on the much anticipated HondaJet, the world’s most advanced light jet. During a press conference at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) annual meeting and convention in Orlando, Fla., the company also highlighted key testing milestones that have been successfully accomplished with the HondaJet moving closer 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.”

Production start with steady progress
Honda Aircraft commenced production of the HondaJet and continues to make steady progress toward delivery of the first customer aircraft. The Honda Aircraft production facility represents Honda’s expectation of high quality product delivery with lean activities designed to standardize production work and eliminate defects. The company has developed and implemented its own production process improvement device, focused on operator work instructions while on the assembly floor. Instructions are presented on a tablet device, allowing technicians to see a graphical interface that is easy to read and is specifically designed to the individual tasks. The device reduces the need for printed materials and ensures real-time change management on the floor.

The production facility will also employ an innovative, on-site paint mixing system designed to achieve optimum color while reducing paint thickness in a controlled environment. At the push of a button, this advanced system allows for multiple aircraft to be coated with a single batch of paint, maintaining color consistency. The system also pre-heats the paint, which results in a superior aesthetic quality.

Honda Aircraft has also implemented the Automatic Guided Cart (AGC). The AGC is similar to a mobile robot and is designed to pick up and deliver parts to the production facility’s unique assembly areas. The AGC will allow for safe, on-demand material delivery and coordinated parts flow to production technicians.

Testing milestones achieved
Over the past year, Honda Aircraft has completed various flight, systems and structural tests including: crew seat crash tests, speedbrake testing, ultimate load tests, EASA windshield bird strike testing, wind tunnel icing tests, night lighting testing, etc.

The company recently completed the first in a series of remote testing to validate the HondaJet aircraft’s performance under extreme temperatures. Hot-weather flight tests were conducted in Yuma, Ariz., and included critical case tests for both aircraft systems and infrastructure. Recent tests included:

  • Hot fuel testing – Fuel system operational tests were successfully conducted and demonstrated the HondaJet fuel system’s ability to supply fuel to the engine during elevated temperatures.
  • Fuselage structure temperature validation – Static heat soak tests measured the environmental impact (e.g., air temperature and solar load) on the aircraft’s fuselage and interior. The HondaJet completed a simulated taxi and takeoff, and the aircraft’s exterior surface was examined to determine temperature profile.
  • Powerplant cooling and electrical generator cooling – Engine and electrical system tests were successfully conducted at critical accessory loads and temperature environment.

To assist in remote location testing of the HondaJet, a 42-foot, custom telemetry vehicle entered service in October. The mobile telemetry truck was designed to duplicate the telemetry capabilities at Honda Aircraft’s world headquarters in Greensboro, N.C., and is a fully self-contained telemetry system used to monitor aircraft data during flight testing. The truck has six work stations for analysts to monitor real-time test data within a 200 nautical mile range of the aircraft and allows year-round operation at remote sites.

Test aircraft expansion
The company’s fifth FAA-conforming aircraft recently completed power-on electrical testing. This aircraft is on schedule to be released to flight test early next year. Now in final assembly, it will be the first HondaJet to have a full production interior. An additional structural test aircraft, the company’s sixth FAA-conforming aircraft, will also join the test fleet next year.

Honda Aircraft’s test program currently includes four FAA-conforming HondaJet aircraft: three actively flying test aircraft and one ground test aircraft, which was exclusively used for structural testing and recently retired from the program after successfully completing ultimate load tests.

Established product support and customer service processes
For aircraft after-market support, the company recently broke ground on a new, 90,000-square-foot Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility. The MRO will provide a 24/7 support center and can simultaneously service up to 12 HondaJet aircraft. The facility, slated for occupancy the second half of 2013, will complement the existing network of HondaJet dealers with all locations delivering the same customer service experience. This expansion will bring the company’s total campus footprint to 600,000 square feet and more than 130 acres.

In an effort to increase efficiency, Honda Aircraft is committed to integrating sophisticated information technology systems throughout all areas of its business. As part of the effort  to enhance customer support, a comprehensive software package specifically designed for aerospace product support will integrate Honda Aircraft inventory, service and other critical functions. Honda Aircraft’s customer service team and Component Control of San Diego, Calif., are working jointly to configure, test and implement Quantum Control to coincide with the MRO facility’s opening next year.

To facilitate pilot training as the HondaJet approaches entry into service, Honda Aircraft has partnered with FlightSafety® International, the world’s leading aviation training organization. The simulator is in production and will be installed in the simulator bay at the Honda Aircraft world headquarters campus in Greensboro, N.C.

Recognized for pioneering aircraft innovation
In September, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) awarded its revered Award for Aircraft Design to Honda Aircraft Company President and CEO Michimasa Fujino. Fujino was recognized by the AIAA for pioneering the optimum HondaJet Over-The-Wing Engine Mount (OTWEM) configuration that reduces wave drag and increases drag divergence Mach number.

The HondaJet OTWEM configuration also maximizes aircraft cabin space, increases cruise fuel efficiency, and reduces interior sound and exterior noise. Other significant HondaJet innovations include a natural-laminar flow (NLF) wing and fuselage nose, and a composite fuselage. These innovations combined make the HondaJet the fastest, most spacious and most fuel efficient jet in its class.

“Honda is known for its methodical approach in engineering and processes,” said Fujino. “To this end, our commitment to deliver the best possible product that will bring new value to aviation remains. We have taken the necessary time and effort with the HondaJet program to do it right and give our customers the finest product with the best ownership experience possible.”

About HondaJet
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 the fastest, highest-flying, quietest, and most fuel efficient jet in its class. The HondaJet incorporates many technological innovations in aviation design, including the unique Over-The-Wing Engine Mount (OTWEM) configuration that dramatically improves performance and fuel efficiency by reducing aerodynamic drag. OTWEM design also reduces cabin sound, minimizes ground-detected noise, and allows for the roomiest cabin in class, the largest baggage capacity, and a fully serviceable private aft lavatory. The 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, a Honda-customized Garmin® G3000 next-generation all-glass avionics system composed of three 14-inch landscape-format displays and dual touch-screen controllers. The HondaJet is Honda’s first-ever commercial aircraft and lives up to the company’s reputation for superior performance, efficiency, quality, and value.

About Honda Aircraft Company
Honda Aircraft Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Honda Motor Company, Inc., was founded in 2006 though has its heritage in more than 20 years of ground-breaking aeronautical research and development. At Honda Aircraft’s World Headquarters campus in North Carolina, the birthplace of aviation, the company’s associates work in more than 500,000 square feet of state-of-the-art R&D, Manufacturing and Administration Headquarter buildings to develop, produce, market and support the HondaJet with HondaJet dealers. The challenging spirit upon which Mr. Soichiro Honda founded Honda Motors is still alive today as Honda Aircraft fulfills one of Honda’s long-standing dreams to advance human mobility skyward.

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Fourth FAA-Conforming HondaJet Achieves Its First Flight

13 05 2012

Momentum Toward Certification

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – May 13, 2012 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Honda Aircraft Company today announced that its fourth conforming HondaJet aircraft, referred to as “F3,” successfully completed its first flight last week on May 4, 2012. This first flight milestone was a key highlight amongst many, in an overall program update the company reported in a briefing at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exposition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland, underscoring the HondaJet’s progress and momentum toward certification.

The F3 aircraft, painted in a unique and striking yellow and white signature HondaJet paint scheme, began its first flight with engine startup at 10:40 am Eastern  Time and lift-off at 10:57 am, on May 4, 2012, from Honda Aircraft Company’s world headquarters at the Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Stefan Johansson,  pilot-in-command, and Howard Judd, co-pilot, completed several checks during the flight, including: takeoff and climb; landing gear and flap operations; aircraft handling; air data system checks; and an Instrument Landing System approach using the flight director. Overall, the aircraft performed smoothly during its 74-minute flight, according to the pilots and telemetry teams, flying as high as 11,500 feet and as fast as 313 Knots True Air Speed (KTAS).

“The first flight of F3 shows the steady advancement on our course toward delivering to our customers an aircraft that offers not only superior performance, efficiency and comfort, but also superior quality,” said Michimasa Fujino, President and CEO of Honda Aircraft Company. “We continue to see refinement in reliability and quality of our aircraft. We are successfully establishing our manufacturing foundation and process that contribute to creating high quality product, as well as to a great flying performance and experience, as our pilots report from just our first week of flying F3.”

Honda Aircraft has now completed four FAA-conforming aircraft. Three of these aircraft are in its flight test fleet, plus one additional aircraft is in its structural ground test program. Earlier FAA-conforming HondaJet flight test aircraft have already achieved key benchmarks that meet or exceed the aircraft’s designed performance goals of a maximum speed of 420 KTAS, maximum cruise altitude of 43,000 feet, climb rate of 3,990 feet per minute, and more.

The F3 aircraft is to be used primarily for avionics and electrical system flight testing elements within the HondaJet certification program. The aircraft has begun its test mission work in earnest.

“With regard to our new color choice for F3, yellow may be unconventional for a business jet, but the HondaJet is a new generation, advanced light jet with high performance and efficiency.” continued Fujino. “HondaJet represents sportiness with high efficiency, so my choice of this special yellow for F3 expresses Honda’s passion for, what we call, our ‘sports car in the sky.’”

  • Honda Aircraft Company announced the successful first flight of F3, the fourth FAA-conforming HondaJet, seen here in the skies above the Piedmont Triad Region of North Carolina, on May 4, 2012
  • Honda Aircraft Company associates gather to celebrate the first flight of the fourth conforming HondaJet aircraft with the company’s president and CEO, Michimasa Fujino, at far left.

About HondaJet
HondaJet is the most advanced light business jet aircraft, with best-in-class advantages in performance, comfort, quality and efficiency. The HondaJet is the fastest, highest-flying, most quiet and most fuel efficient in its class. The HondaJet incorporates many technological innovations in aviation design, including a unique over-the-wing engine-mount configuration that dramatically improves performance and fuel efficiency by reducing aerodynamic drag. This airframe design reduces cabin noise and ground-detected noise when overhead and allows for a more spacious cabin and greater cargo capacity. The HondaJet is powered by two highly fuel-efficient GE Honda HF120 turbofan jet engines, and is equipped with the most advanced glass flight deck available in any light business jet, a Honda-customized Garmin® G3000 next-generation all-glass avionics system with a class-leading layout of three 14-inch landscape-format displays and dual touch-screen controllers. The HondaJet is Honda’s first-ever commercial aircraft and lives up to the company’s reputation for superior performance, efficiency, and value.

About Honda Aircraft Company
Honda Aircraft Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Honda Motor Company, Inc., was founded in 2006 though has its heritage in more than 20 years of ground-breaking aeronautical research and development. At Honda Aircraft’s World Headquarters campus in North Carolina, the birthplace of aviation, the company’s associates work in more than 500,000 square feet of state-of-the-art R&D, Manufacturing and Administration Headquarter buildings to develop, produce, market and support the HondaJet with HondaJet dealers. The challenging spirit upon which Mr. Soichiro Honda founded Honda Motors is still alive today as Honda Aircraft fulfills one of Honda’s long-standing dreams to advance human mobility skyward.

www.hondajet.com

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FAA-Conforming HondaJet Reaches Maximum Operating Altitude of 43,000 Ft.

17 05 2011
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – May 17, 2011 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Honda Aircraft Company, Inc., today announced at the annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland, that it has successfully completed additional milestone flight tests with its FAA-conforming HondaJet, including the achievement of a maximum operating altitude of 43,000 ft. This accomplishment follows soon after Honda’s advanced light business jet recorded a maximum speed of 425KTAS (489 mph) during flight testing at the company’s Greensboro, North Carolina, world headquarters facility.

The 43,000 ft. mark – reached on April 27, 2011 – confirms the company’s maximum-operating-altitude performance commitment to customers for the FAA-conforming HondaJet. In addition, the aircraft has achieved a climb rate of 3,990 ft./min., confirming another important performance parameter for the delivery aircraft.

“We are very encouraged by the achievement of these important performance milestones at this early phase of the HondaJet flight test program,” said Michimasa Fujino, Honda Aircraft Company President & CEO. “Our flight test data indicate that the aircraft is performing as expected, and our team continues to work hard to realize additional performance milestones as we move forward.”

The first FAA-conforming HondaJet (F1), which achieved first flight on December 20, 2010, will soon be joined by additional conforming aircraft to supplement the company’s certification efforts. A second conforming aircraft (ST1) already has been completed and undergone extensive structural testing under various load conditions to ensure conformity with all certification requirements. Furthermore, Power-On testing has been completed successfully on a third conforming aircraft (F2) that will be used for flight testing. Honda is nearing completion of function testing on this aircraft, which is scheduled to take flight this summer.

A fourth conforming aircraft (F3), to be used for additional flight testing, has progressed through the major assemblies consolidation phase and is now in the early stages of systems installation. A fifth conforming aircraft (ST2) also is planned to be completed in early 2012 to support additional stress and extensive fatigue testing. Concurrent with the assembly of conforming aircraft, Honda continues to conduct numerous component qualification tests for each aircraft system to support the certification program.

“In order to maximize the effectiveness of our flight test program and to support an accelerated certification process, we will add a sixth conforming aircraft (F4) to our certification fleet,” said Fujino. “This test aircraft will take flight in spring 2012 and will support cabin systems testing, as well as functions and reliability testing. With a total of six aircraft planned to support the certification process, we believe we will have optimal resources to meet both our flight test program needs and our certification schedule.

As Honda progresses through the certification program, the company is focused simultaneously on the process of equipping and manning its new HondaJet production facility, which was recently completed on the company’s Greensboro campus. Pre-production planning and preparations are in progress as equipment and personnel begin to move into the facility. Training of production staff will soon be underway to support the HondaJet production ramp-up beginning in 2012.

The 263,400 ft2 HondaJet production facility integrates under one roof all aspects of assembly, painting, completion, inspection and flight testing of delivery aircraft. This unique approach to production will provide Honda with a distinct advantage within the industry by allowing the company to create the highest quality aircraft possible within a totally integrated assembly and testing environment.

About HondaJet

Honda Aircraft Company, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Honda Motor Company, Ltd., has amassed orders for well over 100 HondaJet advanced light business jets. Scheduled for first delivery in the third quarter of 2012, the $4.5 million HondaJet is Honda’s first-ever commercial aircraft and lives up to the company’s reputation for dynamic performance together with superior efficiency.

The HondaJet incorporates many innovative technological advances in aviation design, including a unique over-the-wing engine-mount configuration that dramatically improves aircraft performance and fuel efficiency by significantly reducing aerodynamic drag in flight. This innovative approach to airframe design also lowers ground-detected noise when overhead and allows for a more spacious cabin and greater cargo capacity. The HondaJet is powered by two highly fuel-efficient GE Honda HF120 turbofan jet engines.

The production HondaJet flight deck features a Honda-customized Garmin® G3000 next-generation all-glass avionics system incorporating a class-leading layout with three 14-inch landscape-format displays and dual touch-screen controllers for overall avionics control and flight plan entries. The HondaJet Avionics Suite is the most advanced glass flight deck available in any light business jet and provides state-of-the-art integrated avionics functionality featuring split-screen MFD capability, satellite weather, graphical synoptics, digital audio, and optional Synthetic Vision.

Learn more about HondaJet at www.hondajet.com.

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Honda Achieves First Flight of FAA-Conforming HondaJet

21 12 2010

GREENSBORO, NC – December 21, 2010 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Honda Aircraft Company, Inc., today announced that it has successfully completed the first flight of its FAA-conforming HondaJet advanced light business jet. The event is a significant step in Honda’s aerospace program leading to delivery of aircraft in 2012.

The first conforming HondaJet lifted off yesterday, December 20, 2010, at 15:31 EST from Honda Aircraft Company’s world headquarters facility at the Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina. The HondaJet remained aloft for 51 minutes, during which time the aircraft’s flight characteristics and performance were analyzed and systems checks were conducted. Various test data gathered during the flight were transmitted real-time to Honda’s flight test telemetry operations base within the company’s world headquarters facility.

“This is a very important milestone for the HondaJet program,” said Michimasa Fujino, Honda Aircraft Company President and CEO. “This aircraft was assembled and tested under strict FAA certification processes, and we are very pleased to have achieved this successful first flight. Our team has worked extremely hard to reach this critical step in the HondaJet program, and these results reflect Honda’s focus and determination to develop a class-leading aircraft.”

“We are very encouraged by our initial review of the flight data, which indicates the conforming HondaJet performed as expected. As we move forward, we will continue to focus all of our efforts and energy to deliver to our customers the most advanced light business jet yet created,” said Fujino.

To support the company’s certification program, Honda has completed its second FAA-conforming aircraft, which already has undergone numerous structural tests required for commencement of certification flight testing. Honda also has completed mating of main assemblies for its third FAA-conforming aircraft, which is now in the systems installation phase of completion. This third conforming aircraft, to be used mainly for mechanical systems flight testing, is scheduled to be completed in early 2011. A total of five FAA-conforming aircraft, including one additional flight test aircraft and one additional structural test aircraft, are planned to support the HondaJet certification program.

While Honda enters the flight test program with its conforming HondaJet, the company also nears completion of its aircraft production facility on its Greensboro campus. The 266,000 ft2 HondaJet production facility is scheduled for completion in early 2011, with the final phase of interior build-out now underway. Upon completion of the production facility, Honda will begin the process of moving equipment and personnel into the facility and undertaking pre-production preparations and training necessary to support HondaJet production ramp-up beginning in 2012.

About HondaJet
Honda Aircraft Company, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Honda Motor Company, Ltd., has amassed orders for well over 100 HondaJet advanced light business jets. Scheduled for first delivery in the third quarter of 2012, the $4.5 million HondaJet is Honda’s first-ever commercial aircraft and lives up to the company’s reputation for dynamic performance together with superior efficiency. The HondaJet proof-of-concept aircraft has accumulated more than 500 flight test hours and attained both a top speed of 420 knots (483 mph) and a maximum altitude of 43,000 ft. in flight testing.

The HondaJet incorporates many innovative technological advances in aviation design, including a unique over-the-wing engine-mount configuration that dramatically improves aircraft performance and fuel efficiency by significantly reducing aerodynamic drag in flight. This innovative approach to airframe design also lowers ground-detected noise when overhead and allows for a more spacious cabin and greater cargo capacity. The HondaJet is powered by two highly fuel-efficient GE Honda HF120 turbofan jet engines.

The production HondaJet flight deck features a Honda-customized Garmin® G3000 next-generation all-glass avionics system incorporating a class-leading layout with three 14-inch landscape-format displays and dual touch-screen controllers for overall avionics control and flight plan entries. The HondaJet Avionics Suite is the most advanced glass flight deck available in any light business jet and provides state-of-the-art integrated avionics functionality featuring split screen MFD capability, satellite weather, graphical synoptics, digital audio, and optional Synthetic Vision.

Learn more about HondaJet at www.hondajet.com.

SOURCE: Honda Aircraft Company, Inc.

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