Honda to Sell HondaJet in US, Partner with Piper
25 July 2006
|HondaJet’s patented over-the-wing engine-mount configuration enables positioning the HF-118 engines on the upper surfaces of the wing to reduce drag at high speed, improving fuel efficiency.|
Toward this goal, Honda will establish a new US company to hold FAA type certification and production certification. Honda’s goal is to complete type certification in about 3-4 years, followed by the start of production in the US.
Making the announcement at the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture 2006, Honda also revealed plans to form a business alliance with Piper Aircraft, Inc. to collaborate on sales and service, and to explore opportunities in engineering and other areas within general and business aviation.
Aviation has been an important dream of Honda for more than four decades. Our goal is consistent with the philosophy of other Honda products—to provide convenient and efficient transportation that will make people’s lives better. We are excited now to enter a new dimension of mobility.—Satoshi Toshida, senior managing director of Honda Motor Co.
he HondaJet prototype reportedly gets 40% better fuel economy than comparable aircraft. The result of 20 years of aviation research, key HondaJet innovations include a patented over-the-wing engine-mount configuration, a natural-laminar flow (NLF) wing and fuselage nose, and an advanced all-composite fuselage structure.
HondaJet’s NLF wing and NLF fuselage nose were developed through extensive analyses and wind-tunnel testing. HondaJet’s patented over-the-wing engine-mount configuration helps eliminate the need for a structure to mount the engines to the rear fuselage, maximizing space in the fuselage for passengers and luggage. Further, by determining the optimal position for the engines, the over-the-wing mount actually reduces drag at high speed to improve fuel efficiency.
The advanced all-composite fuselage structure consists of a combination of honeycomb sandwich structure and co-cured stiffened panels. It was developed to reduce weight and manufacturing costs. This aircraft is also outfitted with a state-of-the-art all-glass flight deck with an integrated avionics system that displays all information digitally on a high resolution flat display, and also has an autopilot function.
Honda formed a 50:50 joint venture with GE—GE Honda Aero Engines LLC—in 2004 to manufacture and market the HF118 family of commercial turbofan engines ranging in thrust from 1,000 to 3,500 pounds. The initial HF118 engine for the HondaJet will be rated in the 1,700-pound-thrust class.
To date the prototype six-to-seven seat HondaJet has completed more than 240 hours of flight-testing since December 2003. So far, the prototype HondaJet has achieved an altitude of 43,000 feet and a speed of 412 knots and is on course to meet or exceed all of its design specifications.
The prototype has a range of 2,037 km (1,100 nm) and a maximum speed of 778 km/hr (420 knots).
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