The HondaJet program has once again been delayed. Honda Aircraft this week began notifying buyers that delivery of the first HA-420 HondaJet is now planned for the third quarter of 2012. “Regrettably we’ve experienced delays in some components,” HondaJet spokesman Stephen Keeney told AIN. He could not identify the suppliers involved in the latest setback for the program.
Gulfstream is on track to fulfill business aviation’s need for speed with its new G650 jet reaching its top operating speed of Mach 0.925 during a test flight on Sunday.
The large-cabin aircraft is on track to enter service as the world’s fastest in-production civil aircraft, overtaking the Cessna Citation X and perhaps heading off the challenge posed by planned supersonic business jets.
The first Gulfstream G650, S/N 6001, yesterday reached its top operating speed of Mach 0.925 during a test flight from the company’s headquarters in Savannah, Ga. When certified, the G650 will become the fastest transport-category aircraft in service, a spot currently held by the Mach 0.92 Cessna Citation X.
The FAA granted Boeing expanded type inspection authorization (TIA) yesterday for the 787 Dreamliner, clearing the way for the agency’s personnel to fully participate in future test flights and for the collection of required flight-test data. The agency on February 11 granted initial TIA, which supported the collection of flutter certification data.
The second Boeing 747-8 Freighter, RC521, landed in Palmdale, Calif., yesterday, marking the beginning of a planned transition of testing to Southern California. The more than four-hour flight from Boeing Field in Seattle included testing on avionics and cruise performance.
Boeing insists the first 787 Dreamliner remains on schedule for first delivery to All Nippon Airways by the end of this year, despite some admitted glitches during flight testing that appear to have eroded much of the margin the company had built into its timetable for certification.
The third Boeing 747-8 Freighter, RC 521, joined the program’s flight-test program yesterday with a successful two-and-a-half-hour maiden mission. Piloted by captains Paul Stemer and Keith Otsuka, the program’s final prototype took off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., at 3:27 p.m. local time and landed at Boeing Field in Seattle at 5:58 p.m. The airplane reached an altitude of 30,000 feet and an airspeed of 245 knots.
A third airplane–Dreamliner ZA004–joined the Boeing 787 flight-test program when it took off at 11:43 am local time yesterday from Paine Field in Everett, Wash. Boeing said the program plan called for ZA004 to fly before ZA003 because the program needs the data from ZA004 more quickly both for certification and development of the next Dreamliner variant–the 787-9.
The first Boeing 747-8 performed its second test flight on schedule yesterday, exactly two weeks after completing its February 8 maiden journey. The aircraft flew from Boeing Field in Seattle to Moses Lake, Wash., where plans call for flight test crews to perform initial airworthiness and flutter tests into next month, according to a Boeing spokesman.
Before the long-delayed first flight of the A400M, the new airlifter’s TP400 turboprop was flown 18 times on a C-130 flight test bed (FTB) modified and flown by Marshall Aerospace. During a presentation to the UK’s Royal Aeronautical Society last October, Marshall’s chief test pilot Iain Young and flight test engineer Rob Boyle described the challenging task.