10 JANUARY 2011
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Seven years after the proof of concept prototype HondaJet took to the air the first “conforming” aircraft in the programme has flown.
Taking off from the manufacturer's facility at Greensboro, North Carolina, on 20 December, the six-passenger plane remained aloft for 51 minutes, during which time its flight characteristics and performance were analyzed and systems checks were conducted. Data gathered during the flight was transmitted real-time to Honda's telemetry operations base within the company's facility.
To support the company's certification programme, Honda has completed its second FAA-conforming aircraft, which already has undergone numerous structural tests required for commencement of certification flight testing. The manufacturer has also completed the mating of main assemblies for its third ‘plane, which is now in the systems installation phase of completion. A total of five FAA-conforming aircraft, including one additional flight test aircraft and one additional structural test aircraft, are planned to support the HondaJet certification programme leading to a production ramp-up beginning in 2012. http://hondajet.honda.com
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