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Honda takes another step skyward

Jetstream: Honda's Aircraft Company has received its production certificate from the US Federal Aviation Administration allowing it to produce, test and issue airworthiness certificates for its HondaJet.

The makers of the HondaJet add US production certification to its mantelpiece

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Honda logo15 Jul 2016

HONDA’S journey skyward has taken a major step forward with the Honda Aircraft Company earning its production certificate from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The production certificate allows Honda Aircraft to produce, test and issue airworthiness certificates for its HA-420 HondaJet at its North Carolina headquarters for customer deliveries.

Honda Aircraft Company President and CEO Michimasa Fujino described the certification as a great achievement and a very important milestone.

“Honda Aircraft has demonstrated our commitment to build aircraft of the highest quality and that meet stringent safety requirements,” he said.

Honda Aircraft has been steadily ramping up production since receiving FAA type certification for the HondaJet in December last year, having received the same approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in May 2015.

Mr Fujino said its European customers had given the company some positive feedback.

“Our customers have shared that this aircraft is not only high performance, but intelligent, fun to fly and very sophisticated.

Honda claims the HondaJet is the fastest, highest-flying, quietest, and most fuel-efficient jet in its class, with a maximum cruise speed of 422 knots (782km/h) and has a maximum altitude of 43,000 feet (13,100m).

Priced from US$4.85 million, it can be flown by a single pilot or a two-person crew, with seating for up to six passengers and a National Business Aviation Association Instrument Flight Rules (NBAA IFR) range of 1223 nautical miles (1408 miles or 2266km).

Honda said the jet lays claim to a number of aviation innovations, headlined by the unique Over-The-Wing Engine Mount (OTWEM) configuration that improves performance and fuel efficiency by reducing aerodynamic drag.

The engines – a joint venture with GE – over-wing mounting also reduces cabin sound, minimises ground-detected noise and allows for the roomiest cabin in its class, the largest baggage capacity and a fully serviceable private aft toilet, according to the manufacturer.

The jet, Honda’s first commercial aircraft, is also equipped with a Honda-customised touchscreen Garmin G3000, incorporating the dual touch-screens and three 14-inch landscape high-resolution displays.

The company has been researching aircraft for more than two decades but its own design wasn’t locked in until the late 1990s and its first version of the HondaJet hit the skies in 2003.

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