21 JULY 2014
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The first production HondaJet has achieved its initial flight. The event took place at the company's world headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina. Entry into service in expected during the first quarter of 2015.
The HondaJet has had a long gestation period with the maiden flight in 2003 and the first pre-production aircraft in 2010. Six aircraft have so far been built, two of which will never fly and are used for structural testing and assembly development operations.
The new HondaJet will be priced very competitively at US$4.5m and has been designed as a high quality, high performance, highly efficient and environmentally friendly single pilot certified jet that will be able to seat seven (two crew and five passengers), reach speeds of 483 mph and have a range of 1,180 nautical miles. Honda expects to sell about 70 per year – a fairly modest number but certainly enough to put Honda on the business jet map.
"With this first flight, the programme has entered an exciting phase as we prepare for delivery," said Michimasa Fujino, President and CEO, Honda Aircraft Company. "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." www.hondajet.com
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