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HondaJet Makes First Flight at World Headquarters in Greensboro

Carolina Headlines - Aeronautics

GREENSBORO, NC – North Carolina’s aviation industry entered 2011 on a high note as Honda Aircraft Company Inc.’s FAA-conforming HondaJet successfully achieved its first flight on December 20 at the company’s world headquarters in Greensboro. The flight was a significant milestone in the history of Honda Aircraft Company and a solid step toward delivery of the advanced light business jet in 2012.

During the 51-minute flight, the advanced light business jet was heavily analyzed and underwent numerous systems checks that were monitored in real-time at Honda's flight test telemetry operations base also located at the Piedmont Triad International Airport.

"This is a very important milestone for the HondaJet program. This aircraft was assembled and tested under strict FAA certification processes, and we are very pleased to have achieved this successful first flight,” said Michimasa Fujino, Honda Aircraft Company president and CEO. “We are very encouraged by our initial review of the flight data, which indicates the conforming HondaJet performed as expected. Our team has worked extremely hard to reach this critical step in the HondaJet program, and these results reflect Honda's focus and determination to develop a class-leading aircraft."

HondaJet incorporates an over-the-wing engine-mount configuration designed to enhance aircraft performance and fuel efficiency while minimizing aerodynamic drag. The design is also supposed to help eliminate detectable noise on the ground. More than 100 orders have been received for the US$4.5 million HondaJet.

Honda will create five FAA-conforming aircraft to complete the HondaJet certification program. Prior to the first flight of the FAA-conforming HondaJet, the HondaJet proof-of-concept aircraft accrued more than 500 test flight hours and achieved a top speed of 420 knots (483 mph) and a maximum altitude of 43,000 ft.

Honda’s 266,000-square-feet aircraft production facility on its Greensboro campus is on track to be completed in early 2011. Honda will then prepare for full-scale production of the HondaJet in 2012.

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