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Aero-TV: Different by Design -- A HondaJet Update

Honda Aircraft Stakes Out New Territory Via a Unique Jet Design

There are few things in aviation today that can truly claim the adjective of "Unique." Much of aviation is derived from concepts, designs or planforms that we've seen before... unless you find yourself considering the HondaJet.  

The HondaJet is an advanced, lightweight, business jet featuring an extra large cabin, high fuel efficiency, and high cruise speed compared to existing small business jets. To achieve the high-performance goals, an over-the-wing engine-mount configuration, a natural-laminar-flow wing, and a natural-laminar-flow fuselage nose were developed through extensive analyses and wind-tunnel tests. The wing is metal, having an integral, machined skin to achieve the smooth upper surface required for natural laminar flow.

The fuselage is constructed entirely of composites; the stiffened panels and the Sandwich panels are co-cured integrally in an autoclave to reduce weight and cost. The prototype aircraft has been designed and fabricated. Major ground tests such as structural proof tests, control-system proof test, system function tests, and ground-vibration tests have been completed. The first flight was conducted on 3 December 2003, and flight testing is currently underway.

If that is not enough, one also has to be impressed with the fact that this revolutionary jet design will be powered by an all new jet powerplant currently under parallel development. GE Honda Aero Engines' HF120 engine has demonstrated more than 2,100 pounds of thrust while exceeding ambitious fuel efficiency and durability targets, as of Oshkosh 2008. Testing and rebuilds of full turbofan engines have been underway at Honda's Aircraft Engine RD Center in Japan for about a year, verifying the engine design's operability, thermal characteristics and component efficiencies.

The GE Honda HF120 engine was launched in 2006 on the HondaJet advanced light jet and Spectrum Aeronautical "Freedom" business jet, with service entry for both aircraft scheduled in 2010. By service entry, the HF120 is expected to have accumulated more than 15,000 hours of ground and flight testing.

Honda established the recently created Honda Aircraft Company to oversee development, construction, and sales of its $3.65-million, six-seat VLJ. The company expects first deliveries by 2010, with average sales of about 70 planes per year.

Aero-TV Takes A New look At BizAv's NEWEST BizJet Design, The HondaJet!



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