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It's hoping for a 2015 entry into service

Honda Aircraft Company's HondaJet took its first flight last week, furthering the company's goal toward Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification and entry into service by 2015. 

According to HondaJet, the aircraft lifted off from the Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina at 10:18 a.m. EST. It was an 84-minute flight where the aircraft climbed to 15,500 feet and reached a speed of 348 Knots True Airspeed (KTAS). The aircraft landed safely. 

“With this first flight, the HondaJet program has entered the next exciting phase as we prepare for delivery,” said Honda Aircraft Company President and CEO Michimasa Fujino.

“Today’s celebration is the culmination of extensive engineering and production efforts, and this is an important achievement in bringing the world’s most advanced light jet to market.”
 
The jet is capable of flying at a maximum cruise speed of 420 knots (483 MPH) and has a maximum altitude of 43,000 feet. The aircraft seats up to five passengers and can travel at an NBAA IFR range of 1,180 nautical miles (1,357 miles).

The HondaJet has an Over-The-Wing Engine Mount (OTWEM) configuration, natural laminar flow wing and composite fuselage for a lightweight and advanced flight experience. 


Honda initially announced its plans to make jets back in 2006. That same year, it established the HondaJet branch in Greensboro. 

But the road to HondaJet's first flight wasn't an easy one. In 2011, engine troubles caused by ice during testing led Honda to delay HondaJet delivery until mid-2013. 

The HondaJet will be single-pilot certified and is currently offered for sale in North America and Europe through the HondaJet dealer network.

Source: HondaJet



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Finally...
By wordsworm on 6/30/2014 6:12:07 PM , Rating: 4
May Honda do to aviation what it did with automotive: offer the world a more reliable vehicle for a faction of the cost of American or European models.




RE: Finally...
By aurareturn on 6/30/2014 6:58:11 PM , Rating: 2
It costs $3.4 million. I don't think "affordable" really means anything.


RE: Finally...
By Jeffk464 on 6/30/2014 8:15:34 PM , Rating: 3
Jet engines are way, way, way more reliable than car engines.


RE: Finally...
By Jeffk464 on 6/30/2014 8:21:47 PM , Rating: 2
When you look at how many safe hours have been logged on something like a retired 747 its truly amazing.


RE: Finally...
By EricMartello on 7/1/2014 10:33:03 PM , Rating: 4
That's with fairly routine maintenance that includes major overhauls every few thousand flight hours. If people did the same type of maintenance on their cars they'd last just as long.


RE: Finally...
By TerranMagistrate on 7/1/2014 12:30:22 AM , Rating: 2
Let's see Honda develop their own low bypass turbofan engine from scratch and have it compete successfully with similar offerings from P&W and GE. Now THAT would be impressive.


RE: Finally...
By soccerballtux on 7/1/2014 12:57:24 AM , Rating: 2
not fair to call engine. thats why we call turbine.
much different, few parts, great reliability


RE: Finally...
By wordsworm on 7/1/2014 1:39:25 AM , Rating: 3
Not true at all. If they were, there wouldn't be such a huge maintenance industry keeping them from falling out of the sky. You can drive a car for years with little more than regular oil changes. You can't do that with any airplane. They're far more intensive to keep them going. My father was a tech worker on military aircraft.


RE: Finally...
By Dorkyman on 7/1/2014 12:05:42 PM , Rating: 2
A turbine is not inherently more reliable than a piston engine? On what planet?

Turbines have drawbacks (terrible economy at low altitudes, manufacturing cost) but reliability isn't one of them.


RE: Finally...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/1/2014 12:14:26 PM , Rating: 2
You're comparing apples to oranges.

Have you seen what it would cost you to buy a turbine engine? You can get a brand new ICE engine for your car for a few thousand bucks.

Also, again, his point was look at all the maintenance required. Turbine engines get rebuilt on a routine basis, so OFC they're more "reliable" than piston engines which, at most, get their oil changed regularly. And often NOT regularly.


RE: Finally...
By Jeffk464 on 7/1/2014 6:16:41 PM , Rating: 2
The rebuild thing is a FAA requirment. When you look at turbine engines that are used for other purposes like the alaskan pipeline they just run and run and run.


RE: Finally...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/1/2014 10:16:59 PM , Rating: 2
I know owner-operators with over a million miles (yes literally) on the same turbo-diesel engine.

How about we just say BOTH can be very reliable and leave it at that? Honestly I really don't care about this that much lol.

I'm just saying, turbine engines also get WAY better maintenance than piston engines. That certainly helps.


RE: Finally...
By Bad-Karma on 7/2/2014 1:53:43 AM , Rating: 2
Reclaimer,

There are numerous commercial engines that are going on 25+ years old at this point that have never been taken off the wing. Some of GE and P&W's high bypass designs have been that reliable. Several in the military could easily meet the claim as well but regs mandate a teardown at certain set intervals, needed or not.

But what we are talking about is a complete tear down, not general maintenance. And by that some critical components do need to be removed periodically for inspection. This involves quite a bit of opening up on the engine, but in these cases the parts go right back in.

Here at Wright-Paterson we even have a program for when an engine hits so many years without needing a major overhaul. We take them off the ops line and send them back to their manufacture. That way both sides (manufacturer and operator) can help identify "what went right" with that engine in the hopes to re-roll the information into the next generation.


RE: Finally...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/2/2014 10:04:46 AM , Rating: 2
Siiiigh

Do you not understand my point?

If my car engine had a team of mechanics dedicated to it operating by a rigid maintenance schedule as aviation engines do, inspecting each part, routine replacements, rebuilds, calibrating etc etc it would also be WAY more reliable too!

That's all I'm saying. Pointing out the lifespan of aviation turbines, and comparing that to ICE's, while completely ignoring the massive maintenance and overhauling disparity just seems unfair. It's wrong, because it's not a fair comparison.

That's ALL I'm saying.


RE: Finally...
By Bad-Karma on 7/3/2014 12:46:46 AM , Rating: 2
Actually I did, and was trying to buttress your point that turbines tend to be far more reliable. But also that they are in no way comparable.

Some people here can't grasp the different technologies and how they are utilized as engines. And I guarantee that 99.9999% of the people here couldn't even comprehend the amount of just routine, and preventative, maintenance involved with turbines. It can take a small army of technicians with entirely different skill sets just to keep them operational.


RE: Finally...
By EricMartello on 7/1/2014 10:49:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A turbine is not inherently more reliable than a piston engine? On what planet?


How are you defining reliability? If it's the amount of time the engine can run at 60% duty cycle before requiring serious maintenance (i.e. replacing internal components) then the piston engine wins.

Turbines run a very high temperatures and RPM, which causes them to develop micro-fractures which, at the very least, require the engine to be disassembled and inspected with specialized equipment.

Piston engines operate at relatively low temperatures and can operate in a wide variety of conditions without suffering in performance or breaking down. When a turbine has a mechanical malfunction, it must be shut down in the best case. In the worst case, it blows up. Piston engines can "limp" along even with internal parts damaged and they rarely have a catastrophic failure that results in them exploding.

The main benefit of turbines over piston engines is their power-to-weight ratio. For a given weight, turbine engines tend to produce 2-3x as much power as a piston engine.

quote:
Turbines have drawbacks (terrible economy at low altitudes, manufacturing cost) but reliability isn't one of them.


Turbines can operate a low altitudes just fine; the reason jets fly at higher altitudes is to minimize drag and thus maximize fuel economy. Turbines can adjust to the thin air of the upper atmosphere more readily than piston engines can.

Their manufacturing costs are higher mainly due to the smaller market size. The market for piston engines is huge relative to turbines, but if the markets were equal it is feasible to get the costs down to at least be within 20% of piston engines.


RE: Finally...
By sorry dog on 7/2/2014 11:06:37 AM , Rating: 2
Turbines in ground applications usually run for 20,000 to 40,000 hours at high duty cycles which is impressive compared to recip engines. However, their thermal efficiency is not comparable until to other things like recuperators are added.

I'm not sure the need to compare them. Some applications favor the turbine and other favor the reciprocating engine.


RE: Finally...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/1/2014 9:51:00 AM , Rating: 2
If my car engine got rebuild every few thousand miles, I imagine it would be pretty reliable too...


RE: Finally...
By Jeffk464 on 7/1/2014 6:18:24 PM , Rating: 2
a few thousand miles is one flight in a 747.


RE: Finally...
By Jeffk464 on 7/1/2014 6:19:32 PM , Rating: 2
Look at the reciprocating engines in light aircraft the FAA requires that they be torn down all the time to. Its one of the reasons it costs to much to own a plane.


No Mention
By Reclaimer77 on 6/30/2014 3:05:10 PM , Rating: 4
Of their revolutionary Air V-Tech system that uses one small turbine for low altitudes and a bigger one for high altitude cruising??




RE: No Mention
By Spuke on 6/30/2014 3:54:27 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, why leave that info out? That's the whole deal with this plane.


RE: No Mention
By RapidDissent on 6/30/2014 3:57:44 PM , Rating: 3
That kicks in at 5200ft altitude right? Is GReddy releasing a piggy-back computer so I can adjust the Air V-Tech to kick in at 2500ft?


RE: No Mention
By Argon18 on 6/30/2014 4:14:59 PM , Rating: 4
Woah, VTEC just kicked in yo!


RE: No Mention
By GulWestfale on 6/30/2014 6:57:36 PM , Rating: 2
Virtually Torqueless Economy Car

foah realz, tho:
the hondajet will not really revolutionize private jets, like the eclipse 500 had the potential to do. the manufacturing techniques (which dictate the final price) are too similar to established ones, and the performance/price ratio is also quite comparable to what cessna, bombardier, and embraer already offer. oh, and if my numbers come up in the lottery i think i'd much rather be seen in a dassault falcon than "just" a honda.

so i think this will be an uphill battle for honda.


RE: No Mention
By Jeffk464 on 6/30/2014 8:36:04 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, I don't see this as being a huge money maker for Honda. I don't get why they got into it.


RE: No Mention
By geekman1024 on 6/30/2014 9:25:25 PM , Rating: 2
To learn the tech so that in future they can make Personal Space Ships for space miners or merchants or erm, pirates.


RE: No Mention
By marvdmartian on 7/1/2014 8:16:33 AM , Rating: 2
It's a predecessor to the hoverboard, which is due out next year.....but will probably be delayed until 2017, at least!


RE: No Mention
By sorry dog on 7/2/2014 11:01:47 AM , Rating: 2
The niche for this jet is that it is a pretty fast and high flying for a single pilot jet. It shouldn't really be compared to two pilot jets which for the most part require a for hire crew.
I think it should also be mentioned that the 5th passenger sits shotgun (possibly becomes the pilot in case of captain incapacitation.)

Not sure why they got into it, but why did they get into other weird things like companion robots and motorized chairs.


RE: No Mention
By macca007 on 7/1/2014 3:21:12 AM , Rating: 2
Virtually Torqueless Economy Car

Never heard that one before, Must be getting old but damn that is brilliant. :)


RE: No Mention
By Jeffk464 on 6/30/2014 8:13:13 PM , Rating: 2
Actually don't poke fun, most jet engines have computer adjusted veins on the first few stages of the compressor. These compensate for different engine and atmospheric condition, pretty darn similar to vtech.


RE: No Mention
By Jeffk464 on 6/30/2014 8:37:02 PM , Rating: 2
vanes


RE: No Mention
By EricMartello on 7/1/2014 10:53:32 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, wake me up when they release the type-r version. The only way to max out that vtec is to go with exhaust outlets that are at least 10 times the diameter of the jet intake.


That range?
By anothermax2 on 7/2/2014 7:48:04 PM , Rating: 2
That range won't win them any sales. VFR - you are looking at 2 hours flight times? Unless you happen to know two airports 2.75 flight hours apart (and are willing to land on fumes) They need to double that to have a chance.




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