PHOTOs: HondaJet takes off on maiden flight

Washington DC
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Honda Aircraft on 21 December announced first flight of a production-representative HondaJet featuring its distinctive, wing-mounted General Electric HF120 turbofan engines.

The first HondaJet designed to conform with FAA airworthiness regulations took off at 15:31 at the Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C. The eight-seat twin-jet remained airborne for 51min, Honda Aircraft says.

An initial review of data from the flight indicates the aircraft “performed as expected,” Michimasa Fujino, Honda Aircraft president and chief executive, says in a statement.

 ©Honda Aircraft
Honda Aircraft also is close to opening a 24,712m² (266,000ft²) production facility in Greensboro, with plans to start production ramp-up in 2012.

Five FAA-conforming aircraft will soon be involved in the test phase. A second HondaJet is undergoing structural required before beginning certification flight testing. Meanwhile, main assemblies for a third HondaJet have been mated.

 ©Honda Aircraft
 ©Honda Aircraft