• Mar 30, 2011
2012 HondaJet – Click above for high-res image gallery

The first FAA-conforming HondaJet managed a top speed of 489 miles per hour at 30,000 feet on March 11. That mark surpasses Honda's original goal for the jet, and gets it one step closer to production. The flight tests are still in their early stages, so it will be a while yet before the light business jet is available for purchase by well-to-do consumers.

Honda says the jet managed those performance numbers thanks to an extra-slippery shape and a unique over-the-wing placement of the plane's engines. Honda Aircraft Company is conducting its flight tests of the HondaJet at its corporate headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina. Feel free to read more about it in the press release after the break.

[Source: Honda]
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FAA-Conforming HondaJet Achieves Maximum Speed

Honda Aircraft Company, Inc., today announced that the first FAA-conforming HondaJet light business jet has achieved a maximum speed of 425 KTAS (489 mph) and Mach 0.72. This achievement surpasses the company's performance commitment of 420 KTAS for the production HondaJet.

The FAA-conforming HondaJet's maximum speed of 425 KTAS was recorded at 30,000 ft. on March 11, 2011. This result comes less than three months after the aircraft successfully completed its maiden flight on December 20, 2010.

"We are extremely pleased with the strong performance of the FAA-conforming HondaJet early in the flight test program," said Michimasa Fujino, Honda Aircraft Company President & CEO. "Our flight tests indicate the aircraft is handling and performing as expected, with excellent control harmony and stability. The HondaJet's unique over-the-wing engine mount configuration and natural laminar-flow leading edge and fuselage nose designs significantly reduce drag and greatly contribute to such outstanding performance. In addition, the HondaJet's HF120 engines are exhibiting carefree handling of thrust and are supporting top-level performance and efficiency."

Honda will continue a rigorous series of in-flight mechanical, systems and handling tests on the FAA-conforming aircraft. Flight testing of the HondaJet is taking place at Honda Aircraft Company's world headquarters facility in Greensboro, North Carolina.

While flight testing continues, construction of the HondaJet production facility on the company's Greensboro campus nears completion. Honda soon will take occupancy of the 263,400 ft2 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.

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.

Learn more about HondaJet at http://www.hondajet.com/.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      That is a pretty cool looking jet...
      • 3 Years Ago
      That is a nice bird. The folks over in Greensboro have turned out an excellent piece of work.

      I would love to take one of these up for an afternoon. Anybody feel like BBQ in Kansas City? How about some fresh shrimp in New Orleans?
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm no aerospace engineer (yet), but I honestly expected a much higher top speed out of it. I know that it's probably designed more for fuel efficiency, but still...If large commercial jets like a 777 can top 600, I'd expect a vtec honda to do the same :P
        • 3 Years Ago
        You have to balance weight with all the other requirements. More speed takes (in general) larger engines, larger engines burn more fuel, carrying more fuel requires larger tanks, etc.

        With an aircraft, you have certain design goals (speed, range, weight, payload, price), and changing one has an immediate effect on the others. If you want to carry so many people for a certain distance with this much luggage (cargo) and the plane can only be this big, then fuel capacity and engine size must be compromised.

        Higher speed would have required making the plane significantly larger, and would have likely priced themselves out of their potential market. After all, the goal is to make a profit on them!
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Bye, Billy! Hope you find yer dad!"
      • 3 Years Ago
      How about some explanation on why it is several years past the original completion date? Something more than just the press releases would be appreciated.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Show me any modern aircraft that entered service on the originally planned date. I don't think you'll find one.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Pulling out the computer and sending it some place? Are you kidding? So you take the bus for a week or two while its out! I have a Camaro 3.8 and this air intake is in the car and I assure you it does not increase gas mileage. This might make the car a bit quicker but by the time it kicks in the police may be seen in your inside mirror with their blue and red lights on. THIS IS A BIG WASTE OF MONEY. If the Camaro as it is is not fast enough, trade it in for a 2 year old Corvette.
      • 3 Years Ago
      How fast does it go on its wheels? I'm not a pilot, but I think if I were rich enough I'd buy one of these and drive it to work like a car.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This has smaller wings than other Hondas I've seen.
      • 3 Years Ago
      hopefully, when they're done dumping money into this program, they can start hiring a new design department for their cars.
      • 3 Years Ago
      But how fast can it go when vtec kicks in?, yo.
        • 3 Years Ago
        It'll kick in at over 3500m.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Still about 120 knots too slow.
        • 3 Years Ago
        those are actually some fairly terrible performance numbers as far as biz jets go. that thing's gonna be a speed bump for airliners up at FL30.
        • 3 Years Ago
        LOL. I was waiting for that one but didn't expect it on the very first post. Nice one.
      • 3 Years Ago
      So will the ad slogan be "Born From Cars".
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wonderful... an Accord in the sky. Will I begin to see an influx of these jets in the parking lot of Old Country Buffet? Will other pilots have to deal with old ladies flying these in the left lane going 10 under the limit?
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