April 5, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
Claims of top cruising speeds are sometimes just that, a claim. But Honda Aircraft Co. in Greensboro, N.C., has delivered on its promise of 420 KTAS by flying a conforming aircraft at 425 KTAS during a test flight.
The speed was attained at 30,000 feet. The aircraft was FAA-conforming, meaning it has the identical specifications to aircraft that will be delivered to customers. The speed test was flown March 11, but was not immediately announced.
"Our flight tests indicate the aircraft is handling and performing as expected, with excellent control harmony and stability,” said Michimasa Fujino, Honda Aircraft Co. president and CEO.
Test flights are continuing. Honda has completed its second FAA-conforming aircraft that has undergone numerous structural tests. Mating of the major components of the company's third conforming aircraft—to be used for mechanical systems flight-testing—has been completed, and systems installation is now well under way on this aircraft. A fourth conforming flight test aircraft is in the final stages of mating of major assemblies and will soon enter the systems installation phase of completion. A fifth conforming aircraft also is scheduled to support additional structural testing.
Construction of the HondaJet production facility on the company's Greensboro campus nears completion. Honda soon will take occupancy of the 263,400-square-foot production facility, and 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.
The FAA has approved the BendixKing KLR 10, meant to enhance safety by warning pilots of high angles of attack.
Garmin popularized synthetic vision with the G1000 six years ago and now offers it on an app.
A new report values the small UAV market at $582.2 million, while the FAA clears drone misconceptions.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.