HondaJet development, manufacturing, testing updated

Honda Aircraft Co. Inc. announced power-on of the composites-intensive HondaJet, as well as consolidation of fuselage and wing assemblies for the first static test aircraft, which will be subjected to static structural testing beginning this month.

Honda Aircraft Co. Inc. (Greensboro, N.C., USA) on July 26 at the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wis., USA, released a program update for its composites-intensive HondaJet advanced light jet program highlighting the milestone achievement of power-on for its first conforming flight test aircraft. Also announced was the successful consolidation of fuselage and wing assemblies for the first static test aircraft, which will be subjected to static structural testing beginning in August.

The recently concluded power-on tests for the first conforming aircraft included confirmation of power supply both from the on-board battery to the aircraft's power distribution system and from the external ground power unit to the power distribution system.

"The success of our power-on tests is an important step in the completion of the first conforming flight test aircraft," said Honda Aircraft president and CEO Michimasa Fujino. "With this significant milestone achieved, we are now focused on the integration of avionics and other electrical systems in anticipation of first flight later this year."

Concurrently, consolidation of composites structures has been achieved for the wing and fuselage assemblies of the first static test aircraft. The first static test aircraft incorporates more than 1,800 strain gauges that will be used to evaluate the aircraft's performance during stress testing.

Stress testing is being conducted at Honda Aircraft's R&D facility on its Greensboro campus using Honda's advanced MTS FlexTest 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. Honda's test facility includes an environmental chamber to simulate hot-wet conditions, which is required testing for the validation of composite structures.

Stress testing already is well underway with the completion of testing of sub-component and control surfaces. These components have been successfully tested to ultimate load under U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) supervision at Honda's Greensboro facility.

While the assembly and testing of aircraft continue, Honda is nearing completion of the superstructure for the HondaJet production facility on its Greensboro campus and will next begin the installation of electrical and plumbing within the facility. The 250,000-ft²/23,226m² production facility is scheduled for total completion in early 2011, at which time pre-production preparations and training of production staff will begin. The HondaJet production facility also will house Flight Safety International Level-D, full-motion flight simulators for training of all HondaJet pilots and crew.