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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Honda's New Light Jet Completes First Flight

By Woodrow Bellamy III

Honda Aircraft Co. completed the first flight for its fifth FAA-conforming HondaJet aircraft at its world headquarters in Greensboro, N.C., the company said Monday. During the 60-minute flight, the aircraft climbed to 12,000 feet and reached a top speed of 300 knots. 
(Photo: Honda Motor Co.)
During the flight test, pilots checked the aircraft's instruments and handling at low and high speeds.  The light jet is currently undergoing function and reliability testing of the cabin systems and interior components. 
The company said the flight test is a significant step toward FAA certification of the light-jet design. 
"An aircraft’s first flight is an important and emotional milestone," said Michimasa Fujino, president and CEO of Honda Aircraft. "This is especially true for our fifth FAA-conforming HondaJet. This aircraft is equipped with a production interior and options, and it will anchor the final leg of our flight test program. From inside and out, this HondaJet matches the final configuration of a customer aircraft."
Honda has produced six FAA-conforming jets since 2010, four of which are actively undergoing components testing and two of which are performing ground tests. 

FAA certification of Honda's $4.5 million jet is expected in late 2014.  

Related: Aviation Today's Checklist

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