When the name “Honda” comes to mind, it probably results in one of three things: (1) you think of its reliable and safe lineup of vehicles that ranges from the Civic to the Odyssey; (2) your mind rockets to images of the company’s sleek motorcycle brand; (3) you recall President Obama playing soccer with Asimo, Honda’s humanoid robot that may one day become our metallic overlord.
Out of the many images or thoughts that could’ve crossed your mind, the idea of a technologically advanced, multimillion dollar jet is not likely one of them.
Well, the HondaJet’s first production model is complete and will begin ground tests in the near future. The company hopes for initial flight tests to commence this summer to soon earn FAA certifications, keeping in line with projected sales dates. “Our total effort,” Honda Aircraft Company President and CEO Michimasa Fujino said in reference to certifications and sales, “is focused on reaching these much anticipated milestones in the first quarter of 2015.”
Honda began this project in 2003 and partnered with General Electric to build its unique turbofans that power the six-passenger aircraft. These turbofans are also what distinguishes the HondaJet from other small, engine-powered planes; they are mounted on pedestals that rise from the wings instead of traditional placement at the rear of the fuselage – giving a trademark appearance to the company’s jet line. This design, Honda says, provides greater room inside the cabin.
If you plan on saving up to purchase a HondaJet in 2015, just hold onto your dimes and nickels as it is priced at a modest $4.5 million.
And, in case you were wondering what tests the FFA conducts to ensure our safety, here are just a few Honda recently began under various conditions:
- Stalling – speed, characteristics, and warning system
- Wheels, tires, and brake control system
- Flap actuation system and speed brake operation throughout the flight envelope
- Hydraulic systems control
- In-flight fire suppression system
You can rest assured that Honda will apply all of its resources to make the HondaJet as safe and reliable as its lineup of vehicles.