June 30, 2014
By Jim Moore
Honda Aircraft Co. test pilot Warren Gould logged 84 minutes in the first production model of the new twinjet on June 27, an uneventful flight to 15,500 feet that ended with a celebration: More than 1,000 company employees greeted the arriving flight upon its return to the factory in Greensboro, N.C.
“With this first flight, the HondaJet program has entered the next exciting phase as we prepare for delivery,” Honda Aircraft Co. President and CEO Michimasa Fujino said in a news release. “Today’s celebration is the culmination of extensive engineering and production efforts, and this is an important achievement in bringing the world’s most advanced light jet to market.”
The $4.5 million jet (a price long since announced and not updated in recent years) features over-wing mounted engines, a configuration patented by Honda that reduces drag and noise, and increases fuel efficiency. The GE Honda Aero HF 120 turbofan engine was certified in late 2013 after engineers overcame setbacks on ice ingestion tests that delayed the program. Progress has been smoother since, and FAA certification testing is underway with first deliveries expected in early 2015.
Gould’s mission profile included checks on handling characteristics at various speeds, and checks of various systems including avionics, flaps, landing gear, and speed brakes. The flight reached a cruise speed of 385 knots, though the aircraft’s maximum cruise will be 420 knots, with a maximum altitude of 43,000 feet and an operating range of 1,180 nautical miles with IFR reserves. The HondaJet is being certified for single-pilot operation.
The first production aircraft was unveiled in May, sporting a deep green paint scheme that is among five color options being offered.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
This upgraded CJ3 will be equipped with Garmin’s most advanced flight deck, the G3000 touch-screen avionics suite. Now, pilots fluent in Garmin will no doubt give the CJ3+ a closer look.
Swiss manufacturer Pilatus Aircraft rolled out its first prototype PC-24 twin bizjet Aug. 1 in a dramatic unveiling before thousands of spectators.
The action may be animated, but the production team behind Disney’s new film Planes 2: Fire and Rescue, sequel to the 2013 animated feature Planes, strove to keep every detail as realistic as possible.
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 >>>