Honda takes to the air

From the WSJ:

Honda Motor Co. says the first FAA-conforming version of the small business jet it has been working on for years made its first flight. The plane, called the HondaJet, flew from the company’s Honda Aircraft Co. operation at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C.

HondaJet first flight:image Honda Motor Co.

While an earlier version called a proof-of-concept aircraft has logged more than 500 hours of flight testing, flying the version built to Federal Aviation Administration rules is what really counts toward bringing the plane to market. Honda’s project is part of a renewed and growing intersection between automobiles and aviation that is occurring around personal- and business-transport. Honda touts the same qualities for the plane, such as “dynamic performance” and efficiency, as it does for its cars. The company has said it is essentially applying lessons learned in auto manufacturing to the aircraft business

HondaJet First Conforming Flight

HondaJet First Conforming Flight: image Honda Motor Co.

Honda says it will build five FAA-conforming jets for testing before ramping up production in 2012. The company says it has more than 100 orders for the light business jets, which have a top speed around 483 mph and a ceiling of 43,000 feet. Honda plans to deliver the first one in the third quarter of 2012.

HondaJet interior

First flight video is at http://hondajet.honda.com/

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