May 18, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
The HondaJet has now gone as high and as fast as it was intended to go, making good on promises to customers by reaching a maximum 425-knot true airspeed and maximum operating altitude of 43,000 feet. Tests were conducted from the company plant in Greensboro, N.C. Deliveries will begin in late 2012.
The altitude goal was achieved in late April. The aircraft has shown it can climb at 3,990 fpm, another important performance goal originally set during development. The speed goal was attained earlier in 2011.
A sixth test aircraft will be added to the current FAA conforming fleet in the spring of 2012 in order to speed certification, Honda Aircraft Company President and CEO Michimasa Fujino said in a press release.
The company also is equipping its manufacturing facility and hiring personnel. The entire manufacturing process, including painting, will be under one roof.
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.
A new FAA policy on obstructive sleep apnea that addresses many of the concerns raised by AOPA is scheduled to take effect March 2.
AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association have jointly filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the ongoing legal battle over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
AOPA worked with the flight training industry and FAA to quickly resolve a problem that suddenly put many rating applications on hold.
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