Honda Aircraft says its third production conforming aircraft, F2, is now taking part in the HondaJet flight test programme along with the first conforming aircraft, F1, after its 18 November first flight. F2 is equipped with redesigned GE Honda HF120 turbofan engines that include new fan blisks.
The second conforming aircraft, ST1, is being used for structural testing, with all limit load tests now completed.
Honda in October revealed a one year slip to the target completion date of its first business jet, to the second half of 2013, due to a needed engine redesign. Problems were encountered during ice slab induction tests at GE facilities, requiring the redesign of the one-piece titanium fan "blisk" for the 1,950lb take-off thrust (8.7kN) engine. The company expects to receive US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 33 engine certification in the second half of 2012. GE shipped the first new engines to Honda's North Carolina production facility in October.
Along with F1, which completed its first flight on 20 December 2010, F2 will be joined by two additional flight test aircraft, F3 and F4, in 2012. Additional structural test aircraft will also join the programme in 2012, said Michimasa Fujino, president of Honda Aircraft.
F2 (background) has joined F1 in the HondaJet flight test programme
"Overall, the aircraft performed quite well [during first flight], according to the pilots and telemetry teams," said Honda. "Since this first flight, Honda Aircraft has expanded F2's performance envelope as the aircraft has begun its test mission work in earnest."