Honda Aircraft Company announced Friday that the first production HondaJet achieved its initial flight, marking another milestone toward aircraft certification and entry into service in 2015. The event took place at the company’s world headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina.
“With this first flight, the HondaJet program has entered the next exciting phase as we prepare for delivery,” said Honda Aircraft Company president and CEO Michimasa Fujino. “Today’s celebration is the culmination of extensive engineering and production efforts, and this is an important achievement in bringing the world’s most advanced light jet to market.”
The first production aircraft lifted off from the Piedmont Triad International Airport (KGSO) at 10:18 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. During the 84-minute flight, the aircraft climbed to 15,500 feet and reached a speed of 348 Knots True Airspeed (KTAS).
Following a smooth landing, the aircraft and its crew were greeted by more than 1,000 Honda Aircraft team members to commemorate the milestone. The aircraft was flown by test pilot Warren Gould, pilot-in-command.
The HondaJet, which is a light business jet aircraft, flies at a maximum cruise speed of 420 knots (483 mph) and has a maximum altitude of 43,000 feet. The aircraft seats up to five passengers in a standard configuration and can travel at an NBAA IFR range of 1,180 nautical miles (1,357 miles).
Founded in 2006, Honda Aircraft Company, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.