This Day in Aviation History

December 3rd, 2003
First flight of the Honda HA-420 HondaJet.

The Honda HA-420 HondaJet is the first general aviation aircraft developed by the Honda Aircraft Company.

Honda began to study small sized business jets in the late 1980s, using engines from other manufacturers. The Honda MH02 was fabricated and assembled at Mississippi State University’s Raspet Flight Research Laboratory in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The MH02 was a prototype using carbon fiber/epoxy composite materials. Flight testing on the MH02 continued through 1996, after which the aircraft was shipped to Japan.

The prototype HondaJet made its maiden flight in December 2003. It debuted to the public at the EAA AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in July 2005. On July 25, 2006, Honda returned to Oshkosh to announce it would commercialize the HondaJet. Honda established the Honda Aircraft Company to seek both type and production certification of the HondaJet. Production is to take place in the United States. The company began taking customer orders in the fall of 2006. The price was about US$3.65 million. At that time the company expected to build 70 jets per year.

In August 2006 Honda and Piper Aircraft announced a partnership to market the HondaJet.

In May 2010 major assembly of a type-conforming airframe started. Components included the composite fuselage, metal wings, empennage, landing gear and engine pylons mounted above the wings. Work was then in progress to integrate major systems, including electrical, hydraulic and environmental controls. The first conforming engine was to be delivered in the third quarter of 2010 and be installed on the aircraft. Honda Aircraft planned to begin static testing of a conforming airframe in May 2010.

The maiden flight of the prototype aircraft was scheduled for November 2010. Because of delays in some components, the flight actually took place on 21 December. FAA certification and delivery were repeatedly delayed, including a one-year delay caused by the engines’ susceptibility to ice damage.

With the engine having achieved certification, the aircraft’s certification is targeted to be in the first quarter of 2015. First flight of the production model occurred on 27 June 2014 and the plane was flown and shown at Oshkosh Airshow soon after….

Wikipedia, Honda HA-420 HondaJet:

YouTube, Honda Jet FAA First Flight:

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