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HondaJet takes the next step in certification

Tue, 17 May 2011

It was nearly eight years ago when we first heard about the HondaJet, a light aircraft that would revolutionize travel. It would be easy to fly, seat a family or more comfortably, and would be relatively fuel-efficient.

It takes a long time to certify a plane for flight.

The Honda Aircraft Co. said on Tuesday that the HondaJet has completed the next round of tests by flying up to an altitude of 43,000 feet. It also reached a climb rate of 3,990 feet per minute.

The HondaJet uses an over-the-wing engine-mount configuration that improves efficiency and performance by reducing drag in flight. It also allows for a more spacious cabin and more cargo capability.

The first HondaJet took flight last August at the Honda Indy 200 in Mid-Ohio. It will soon be joined by a second plane as part of the certification efforts. The second plane has already undergone structural testing in various conditions. Testing of a third jet has been completed; it will take flight this summer.

In total, Honda has six jets undergoing some form of testing.

Honda is also focused on equipping the jet-production facility at its Greensboro, N.C., campus. Training will soon start to support the production ramp-up in 2012, according to the company.

Honda has taken orders for more than 100 jets, which are scheduled to start delivery in the third quarter of 2012 at a cost of $4.5 million each.

By Jake Lingeman