Wings Magazine

HondaJet program update released at NBAA

Oct. 19, 2010 Atlanta, Ga. – Honda Aircraft Company, Inc., recently released at the annual NBAA convention an update to its HondaJet advanced light jet program.

October 19, 2010  By Wings Magazine

Oct. 19, 2010 Atlanta, Ga. – Honda Aircraft Company, Inc., recently released at the annual NBAA convention an update to its HondaJet advanced light jet program, including the announcement of ground testing underway on its first conforming flight test aircraft and static structural stress testing in progress on its second conforming aircraft. Also announced was the commencement of assembly of its third conforming flight test aircraft.

With the installation of electrical, hydraulic, mechanical and environmental control systems, the first conforming flight test aircraft has entered the ground testing stage in preparation for first flight. Systems tests already completed on the conforming aircraft include, among others: oxygen, fuel tank and vapor cycle systems tests; landing gear deployment tests; steering and brake tests; flight control tests; power distribution tests; core navigation functions (VOR/ILS/GPS) tests; primary air data and attitude/heading sensor tests; and integrated avionic system functional tests. Additional tests completed at supplier facilities include: DC motor pump extreme environmental condition tests; hydraulic and electrical component tests; landing gear actuator vibration tests; landing gear drop tests; and crew and cabin seat crash tests.

Exterior treatment of the first conforming flight test aircraft also is complete with the application of a new HondaJet paint scheme. Featuring a metallic silver-over-white profile combined with a distinctive sweeping fuselage stripe in dark metallic gray, the aircraft sports a bisecting white and dark metallic gray combination stripe extending from its nose over the upper fuselage, further enhancing the HondaJet's unique image of dynamic performance.

Assembly of the second conforming aircraft – to be used for static structural stress testing – was completed in July. Following control surfaces FAA testing, including rudder and elevator tests, static structural stress tests of the entire aircraft have commenced and included: 100% limit-load wing tests; 100% limit-load horizontal stabilizer tests; wing stiffness tests; landing gear load tests; pylon stiffness tests; and fuselage pressure tests. Static structural stress testing has been undertaken at Honda Aircraft Company's R&D facility on its Greensboro, North Carolina, campus.


"In addition to the more than 500 flight hours we have accumulated on the proof of concept HondaJet, the successful completion of this robust range of static structural stress tests on the conforming aircraft significantly reinforces the advantages of the HondaJet's advanced design," said Michimasa Fujino, Honda Aircraft Company's President and CEO.

All static structural stress tests are conducted utilizing Honda's advanced structural test system. The system incorporates 61 hydraulic actuators and a 2,600-channel data acquisition system within a structural test fixture designed exclusively for HondaJet testing. The entire aircraft can be tested simultaneously to prove static and fatigue strength under various flight- and ground-load conditions. Testing will continue on static test aircraft as the HondaJet program moves through the certification process. The fourth conforming aircraft will be used for fatigue testing scheduled for 2012.

Honda is now focused on assembly of the third conforming aircraft to be used for flight testing of mechanical systems. The fuselage and empennage for this aircraft have been completed, while the wing assembly nears completion. Final assembly of this aircraft is scheduled to begin soon at Honda's R&D facility on its Greensboro campus.

Testing of aircraft systems on conforming flight test aircraft are supported through the implementation of Honda's industry-leading Advanced Systems Integration Test Facility (ASITF). Honda's ASITF confirms before first flight the integration of the aircraft's electrical, avionics, mechanical and flight control systems, including stall warning protection systems (SWPS) and rudder bias systems (RBS). The HondaJet ASITF incorporates a fully representative primary flight control system with a high-fidelity control-loading system.

The HondaJet ASITF also incorporates actual aircraft systems hardware and software, installed in a spatially-representative manner and interconnected with actual aircraft electrical harnesses. Additional simulation capabilities have been integrated to provide real-time simulation of navigation RF data, including GPS.

"Honda's Advanced Systems Integration Test Facility is a powerful tool that will support the most efficient development and certification process possible for the HondaJet. By effectively identifying any developmental issues at the earliest possible stages of the process, our ASITF system will support an accelerated program momentum and, ultimately, help us create the best possible aircraft," said Fujino.

At this year's NBAA, Honda released HondaJet production cockpit and cabin designs featuring production parts, reflecting the quality of materials, colors and finishes to be available in delivery aircraft. The HondaJet's cockpit design has been updated to reflect the maturity of Honda's human factors engineering efforts and flight test evaluations.

Concurrent with the ongoing assembly of flight test aircraft, construction of the HondaJet production facility on the company's Greensboro campus is quickly nearing completion. The 250,000 ft2 production facility is now in the final phase of construction, with interior build-out well underway. The facility is scheduled for completion in early 2011, at which time pre-production preparations and training of production staff will begin. Upon completion, the production facility's two state-of-the-art painting facilities will be utilized to support finishing of additional conforming aircraft, thereby supplementing the painting capacity of Honda's R&D facility on campus. In addition, the HondaJet production facility will incorporate Flight Safety International Level-D, full-motion flight simulators for training of all HondaJet pilots and crew.

Also at this year's NBAA, Honda will conduct demonstrations of its advanced humanoid robot ASIMO to showcase the company's commitment to enhancing and expanding human mobility for the benefit of society. In addition to the design and development of automobiles, motorcycles and power equipment products, Honda's innovative research and development efforts during the past decade have yielded such diverse outcomes as humanoid robotics, walking assist devices, HondaJet, fuel cell electric vehicle technology, thin film solar cells, increased rice crop yields and functional nano-materials.

Based on its belief in the value of technology to address the needs of society, Honda's mission is to develop products that anticipate and satisfy the evolving needs of its customers while meeting society's demand for cleaner, safer, more efficient and sustainable means of transportation and human mobility.


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