A newly-awarded provisional type certificate for the HA-420 HondaJet moves the North Carolina-based manufacturer a major stiep closer in its 12-year-long quest of entering the light business jet market.
Honda Aircraft chief executive Michimasa Fujino calls the award of the PTC by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is a “tremendous milestone” for the programme.
A PTC is requested by the manufacturer and establishes the aircraft is safe to fly based on the airworthiness standards outlined in the document. It stops short of authorising the company to deliver the aircraft to customers. That requires a final type certificate, and that will come in a “few months”, Honda Aircraft says.
“Honda Aircraft has completed nearly all of the testing and reports required by the FAA, and we are very close to achieving final type certification for the world’s most advanced light jet,” Fujino says.
The HA-420, distinctively equipped with a pair of the over-the-wing-mounted GE Honda Aero Engines HF120 engines, will enter a market sector occupied by the Embraer Phenom 100 and Cessna M2.
HondaJet first flew a prototype model of the HondaJet in 2003. After re-engining and improving the prototype, four HA-420 flight test aircraft have flown more than 2,500 hours.
The company’s final assembly line in Greensboro, North Carolina, is fully occupied with 12 aircraft. Five more aircraft are in earlier stages of the production flow, the company says.