The Federal Aviation Administration granted type certification to Honda Aircraft Company’s new light business jet, signifying the aircraft is “flight worthy” and manufactured according to an approved design. Honda Aircraft and FAA representatives made the announcement at the jet-builder’s headquarters in Greensboro, N.C.
“Achieving FAA type certification for the HondaJet is a monumental milestone for Honda,” stated Michimasa Fujino, Honda Aircraft president and CEO. “We established Honda Aircraft as a new aerospace company and introduced our first product — an advanced light jet with technologies developed from serious research activities. We designed, tested, and have now certified this clean-sheet design aircraft – an unprecedented challenge for Honda.”
Honda Motor Co. established Honda Aircraft Company LLC in 2006 to produce business jets according to its own design, though production was delayed several times. The business is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co. Inc.
With the FAA certification now achieve, Honda Aircraft is ramping up production at the Greensboro plant. It noted that 25 aircraft now are on the final assembly line.
The Honda HA-420 HondaJet is the first aircraft developed by the company. The design includes a patented “over-the-wing engine mount” configuration, a natural laminar flow wing, and a fuselage fabricated in composite material. The light aircraft flies at a maximum cruise speed of 420 knots (483 mph) and a maximum altitude of 43,000 feet. It seats up to five passengers in a standard configuration, and has a flight range of 1,180 nautical miles (1,357 miles.)
The OEM claims the HondaJet is the fastest aircraft in its class at 420 knots (483 mph), as well as the most fuel-efficient in its class.
The HondaJet made its initial flight in 2014, and Honda Aircraft validated its performance, safety, function and reliability via ground and flight tests with the FAA. Total flight hours exceeded 3,000, with testing conducted at more than 70 locations across the United States.
“This day was achieved through the collaborative efforts of the FAA and Honda Aircraft Company,” stated Melvin Taylor, manager of the FAA’s Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office. “Collaboration is not easy, it often is a difficult subject. But when it is done successfully like this program, the rewards are gratifying to us all.”