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ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 29, 2012 -- Honda Aircraft Company announced today that it has commenced production on the much anticipated HondaJet, the world's most advanced light jet. During a press conference at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) annual meeting and convention in Orlando, Fla., the company also highlighted key testing milestones that have been successfully accomplished with the HondaJet moving closer to certification and delivery. "An assembly line for HondaJet production is in place, major aircraft components including the fuselage and wing have been produced, and we have started assembly of the first customer aircraft," said Honda Aircraft President and CEO Michimasa Fujino. "Commencing production is the most important milestone in the HondaJet program to date, with only the future Federal Aviation Administration Type Certification and first customer delivery ranking greater in significance."
Production start with steady progress
Honda Aircraft commenced production of the HondaJet and continues to make steady progress toward delivery of the first customer aircraft. The Honda Aircraft production facility represents Honda's expectation of high quality product delivery with lean activities designed to standardize production work and eliminate defects. The company has developed and implemented its own production process improvement device, focused on operator work instructions while on the assembly floor. Instructions are presented on a tablet device, allowing technicians to see a graphical interface that is easy to read and is specifically designed to the individual tasks. The device reduces the need for printed materials and ensures real-time change management on the floor. The production facility will also employ an innovative, on-site paint mixing system designed to achieve optimum color while reducing paint thickness in a controlled environment. At the push of a button, this advanced system allows for multiple aircraft to be coated with a single batch of paint, maintaining color consistency. The system also pre-heats the paint, which results in a superior aesthetic quality. Honda Aircraft has also implemented the Automatic Guided Cart (AGC). The AGC is similar to a mobile robot and is designed to pick up and deliver parts to the production facility's unique assembly areas. The AGC will allow for safe, on-demand material delivery and coordinated parts flow to production technicians.
Testing milestones achieved
Over the past year, Honda Aircraft has completed various flight, systems and structural tests including: crew seat crash tests, speedbrake testing, ultimate load tests, EASA windshield bird strike testing, wind tunnel icing tests, night lighting testing, etc. The company recently completed the first in a series of remote testing to validate the HondaJet aircraft's performance under extreme temperatures. Hot-weather flight tests were conducted in Yuma, Ariz., and included critical case tests for both aircraft systems and infrastructure.
The certified HondaJet, Honda's advanced light business jet, takes its first flight. This is a significant step in Honda's aerospace program with delivery of our first customer aircraft expected in 2012.
The HondaJet took off from Greensboro, North Caroline on 20 December and flew for 51 minutes.
Michimasa Fujino, Honda Aircraft Company President and CEO, said: "This is a very important milestone for the HondaJet program. This aircraft was assembled and tested under strict FAA certification processes, and we are very pleased to have achieved this successful first flight. Our team has worked extremely hard to reach this critical step in the HondaJet program, and these results reflect Honda's focus and determination to develop a class-leading aircraft."
"We are very encouraged by our initial review of the flight data, which indicates the conforming HondaJet performed as expected. As we move forward, we will continue to focus all of our efforts and energy to deliver to our customers the most advanced light business jet yet created."
For more about the HondaJet, visit www.hondajet.com