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.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
Redbird Flight Simulations demonstrated four new technologies and proposed a new way to organize flight schools at its annual Migration Oct. 27 through 29 at the Redbird Skyport in San Marcos, Texas.
Four students studying to become professional pilots at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University have been named recipients of $25,000 scholarships that honor aviation luminary Bob Hoover.
Aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin stirred the pot with an Oct. 15 announcement that compact fusion could power vehicles, even aircraft, within a decade. Skeptics were quick to speak up, while Lockheed filed for patents and hopes to find partners in government, academia, and industry.
VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN NEAR YOU!
SHARE YOUR PASSION. VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN. CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
VOLUNTEER LOCALLY AT AOPA FLY-IN! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
BE A PART OF THE FLY-IN VOLUNTEER CREW! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>