Dear HondaJet Customer:
May is always a busy time of year as we prepare for one of our largest events – the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) – in Geneva, Switzerland. I wanted to share some of the exciting progress taking place on our campus, along with an exclusive look at the first production HondaJet, which is in final assembly and is painted in a stunning new color.
We are making steady progress toward HondaJet type certification and delivering the first customer aircraft in Q1 2015. Our company’s total effort is focused on reaching these much anticipated milestones.
First Production HondaJet in Final Assembly
The first production HondaJet is in final assembly with the first set of production GE Honda HF120 engines recently delivered to Honda Aircraft. The engines have been installed, and Honda Aircraft will soon begin conducting ground tests on the airplane. Its first flight is anticipated this summer.
As you can see in the image below, this aircraft is painted in the signature HondaJet paint scheme and debuts a new color – a deep pearl green with a gold stripe. I am happy to share that this new hue will be offered as an option in addition to the vibrant silver, blue, red and yellow finishes also available to customers. The HondaJet fleet now represents all five color options.
The first production HondaJet is in final assembly, production engines have been installed and Honda Aircraft will soon begin conducting ground tests on the airplane. The aircraft features a new paint scheme in a deep pearl green with a gold stripe.
HondaJet production continues its steady pace in advance of entry into service with nine aircraft on the final assembly line. Four aircraft have been mated to their wings and empennages, and production is on schedule to have 10 aircraft on the final assembly line in June. This steady build up supports Honda Aircraft Company’s objective to have aircraft ready for delivery immediately after type certification is achieved next year.
At the same time, our manufacturing team continues to integrate the latest technology into our production process to create an efficient workflow. The production line is maturing and the robust processes we have in place will help us build high quality aircraft that will bring our customers joy.
Following the Federal Aviation Administration’s issuance of Type Inspection Authorization (TIA), the HondaJet program has begun testing with FAA pilot participation.
Testing and Certification
Following the FAA’s issuance of Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) for the HondaJet, the program has begun testing with FAA pilot participation. Several certification tests by FAA pilots were conducted under this final phase. Examples are:
- Stall speed, stall characteristics and stall warning system: Tests were conducted under various flight conditions. During testing, the stall warning system (stick shaker attached to the yoke) and stall protection system (stick pusher that provides automatic stall recovery) were evaluated. Cockpit indications for airspeed, altitude and ambient temperature were also validated.
- Wheels, tires and brake control system tests: Normal anti-skid brake control systems were evaluated in both wet and dry runway conditions. Emergency brake system testing also demonstrated aircraft braking capability during degraded system operations.
- Flap actuation system and speed brake operation throughout the flight envelope: Testing demonstrated aircraft flap and speed brake operation at limit speeds and maximum load factor.
- Hydraulic system control tests were conducted during normal, abnormal and degraded operations: The hydraulic system was demonstrated at the maximum operating altitude and after extended periods of high-altitude cold soaking.
- In-flight fire suppression system: This testing was conducted at critical flight conditions for both speed and temperature.
FAA Full-Scale Fatigue Testing: The ground structural test program has completed more than 2,000 cycles so far in advance of entry into service. This is equivalent to more than five years of use for typical business jet operators. Testing examined the airframe’s fatigue strength under simulated in- flight operations derived from theoretical load spectra and mission profiles. The tests evaluated the effects of vertical and lateral maneuvers; vertical and lateral gust; landing; taxi; Ground-Air-Ground (GAG) and fuselage pressure cycle on the aircraft. This testing was conducted in our R&D facility in Greensboro using a sophisticated structural test system that can simultaneously operate 73 hydraulic actuators and cabin pressurization in a closed loop digital control system using force, pressure or displacement as the feedback parameters.
Major Industry Supplier Joins the Program
Honda Aircraft will also announce at EBACE that Fokker Aerostructures will supply the empennage structures for the HondaJet. Fokker was selected based on its expertise in the manufacturing of tail sections for business jets and global supply chain network.
Headquartered in Papendrecht, the Netherlands, Fokker Technologies operates facilities in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Romania, Turkey, Singapore and China. The company provides a range of integrated aerospace systems and services to top commercial and business aviation manufacturers worldwide.
Flight and Maintenance Training
Working with FlightSafety International, we are currently developing flight and maintenance training curriculums with maintenance training classes scheduled to begin later this year in Greensboro. The first flight simulator for flight training is complete and software integration is underway. Flight training with this simulator will include type rating and recurrent pilot training programs for both single and multi-crew operations. Training will be provided at Honda Aircraft Company’s world headquarters and will start before entry into service.
The first flight simulator for flight training is complete and software integration is underway. Training will be provided at Honda Aircraft Company’s world headquarters and will start before entry into service.
Earlier this year, our company marked a major milestone with the 1,000th team member joining the company. Our growing workforce represents more than 43 countries and reflects the aviation industry’s top talent in engineering, manufacturing, sales and service.
Our growing workforce, now at 1,000, represents more than 43 countries and reflects the aviation industry’s top talent in engineering, manufacturing, sales and service.
Honda Aircraft, along with our worldwide network of dealers and suppliers, are working together to support a seamless transition to customers. Our goal is to have everything ready before the first delivery. We are committed through our network to deliver the best ownership experience from day one.
Thank you very much for your continued support. Sincerely,
President and CEO