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Honda begins regulatory flight tests of light business jet

Honda Aircraft Company has completed the first flight of an advanced light business jet conforming to the requirements of the US Federal Aviation Authority.

The first FAA-conforming HondaJet lifted off on Monday 20 December 2010 from Honda Aircraft Company's headquarters at the Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina. The aircraft remained aloft for 51 minutes, during which time its flight characteristics and performance were analysed and systems checks were conducted. Test data gathered during the flight was transmitted in real time to Honda's flight test telemetry operations base.

The event is a significant step in Honda's aerospace programme leading to delivery of aircraft in 2012. The company has amassed orders for over 100 of the HondaJet, its first commercial aircraft.

To support the certification program, Honda has completed its second FAA-conforming aircraft, which already has undergone numerous structural tests required for commencement of certification flight testing.

A third FAA-conforming aircraft, which will be used mainly for mechanical systems flight testing, is scheduled to be completed in early 2011 and two more are planned: one for flight testing and one for structural tests.

At the same time the company is nearing completion of its aircraft production facility on the Greensboro campus.

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