Honda Aircraft Company Begins HondaJet Production

  Honda Aircraft Company Begins HondaJet Production

                   Highlights Program Progress at NBAA 2012

NBAA2012

Business Wire

ORLANDO, Fla. -- October 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. Recent tests
included:

  *Hot fuel testing – Fuel system operational tests were successfully
    conducted and demonstrated the HondaJet fuel system’s ability to supply
    fuel to the engine during elevated temperatures.
  *Fuselage structure temperature validation – Static heat soak tests
    measured the environmental impact (e.g., air temperature and solar load)
    on the aircraft’s fuselage and interior. The HondaJet completed a
    simulated taxi and takeoff, and the aircraft’s exterior surface was
    examined to determine temperature profile.
  *Powerplant cooling and electrical generator cooling – Engine and
    electrical system tests were successfully conducted at critical accessory
    loads and temperature environment.

To assist in remote location testing of the HondaJet, a 42-foot, custom
telemetry vehicle entered service in October. The mobile telemetry truck was
designed to duplicate the telemetry capabilities at Honda Aircraft’s world
headquarters in Greensboro, N.C., and is a fully self-contained telemetry
system used to monitor aircraft data during flight testing. The truck has six
work stations for analysts to monitor real-time test data within a 200
nautical mile range of the aircraft and allows year-round operation at remote
sites.

Test aircraft expansion

The company’s fifth FAA-conforming aircraft recently completed power-on
electrical testing. This aircraft is on schedule to be released to flight test
early next year. Now in final assembly, it will be the first HondaJet to have
a full production interior. An additional structural test aircraft, the
company’s sixth FAA-conforming aircraft, will also join the test fleet next
year.

Honda Aircraft’s test program currently includes four FAA-conforming HondaJet
aircraft: three actively flying test aircraft and one ground test aircraft,
which was exclusively used for structural testing and recently retired from
the program after successfully completing ultimate load tests.

Established product support and customer service processes

For aircraft after-market support, the company recently broke ground on a new,
90,000-square-foot Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility. The MRO
will provide a 24/7 support center and can simultaneously service up to 12
HondaJet aircraft. The facility, slated for occupancy the second half of 2013,
will complement the existing network of HondaJet dealers with all locations
delivering the same customer service experience. This expansion will bring the
company’s total campus footprint to 600,000 square feet and more than 130
acres.

In an effort to increase efficiency, Honda Aircraft is committed to
integrating sophisticated information technology systems throughout all areas
of its business. As part of the effort to enhance customer support, a
comprehensive software package specifically designed for aerospace product
support will integrate Honda Aircraft inventory, service and other critical
functions. Honda Aircraft’s customer service team and Component Control of San
Diego, Calif., are working jointly to configure, test and implement Quantum
Control to coincide with the MRO facility’s opening next year.

To facilitate pilot training as the HondaJet approaches entry into service,
Honda Aircraft has partnered with FlightSafety^® International, the world’s
leading aviation training organization. The simulator is in production and
will be installed in the simulator bay at the Honda Aircraft world
headquarters campus in Greensboro, N.C.

Recognized for pioneering aircraft innovation

In September, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
awarded its revered Award for Aircraft Design to Honda Aircraft Company
President and CEO Michimasa Fujino. Fujino was recognized by the AIAA for
pioneering the optimum HondaJet Over-The-Wing Engine Mount (OTWEM)
configuration that reduces wave drag and increases drag divergence Mach
number.

The HondaJet OTWEM configuration also maximizes aircraft cabin space,
increases cruise fuel efficiency, and reduces interior sound and exterior
noise. Other significant HondaJet innovations include a natural-laminar flow
(NLF) wing and fuselage nose, and a composite fuselage. These innovations
combined make the HondaJet the fastest, most spacious and most fuel efficient
jet in its class.

“Honda is known for its methodical approach in engineering and processes,”
said Fujino. “To this end, our commitment to deliver the best possible product
that will bring new value to aviation remains. We have taken the necessary
time and effort with the HondaJet program to do it right and give our
customers the finest product with the best ownership experience possible.”

About HondaJet

HondaJet is the world’s most advanced light business jet aircraft, with
best-in-class advantages in performance, comfort, quality and efficiency. The
HondaJet is the fastest, highest-flying, quietest, and most fuel efficient jet
in its class. The HondaJet incorporates many technological innovations in
aviation design, including the unique Over-The-Wing Engine Mount (OTWEM)
configuration that dramatically improves performance and fuel efficiency by
reducing aerodynamic drag. OTWEM design also reduces cabin sound, minimizes
ground-detected noise, and allows for the roomiest cabin in class, the largest
baggage capacity, and a fully serviceable private aft lavatory. The HondaJet
is powered by two highly fuel-efficient GE Honda HF120 turbofan jet engines,
and is equipped with the most sophisticated glass flight deck available in any
light business jet, a Honda-customized Garmin^® G3000 next-generation
all-glass avionics system composed of three 14-inch landscape-format displays
and dual touch-screen controllers. The HondaJet is Honda's first-ever
commercial aircraft and lives up to the company's reputation for superior
performance, efficiency, quality, and value.

About Honda Aircraft Company

Honda Aircraft Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Honda Motor
Company, Inc., was founded in 2006 though has its heritage in more than 20
years of ground-breaking aeronautical research and development. At Honda
Aircraft’s World Headquarters campus in North Carolina, the birthplace of
aviation, the company’s associates work in more than 500,000 square feet of
state-of-the-art R&D, Manufacturing and Administration Headquarter buildings
to develop, produce, market and support the HondaJet with HondaJet dealers.
The challenging spirit upon which Mr. Soichiro Honda founded Honda Motors is
still alive today as Honda Aircraft fulfills one of Honda's long-standing
dreams to advance human mobility skyward.

For more information, visit www.hondajet.com.

Note for media: access Honda Aircraft’s media portal at
https://hondajet.honda.com/news/Index.aspx for high resolution images of the
HondaJet.

Contact:

Honda Aircraft Company
Andrew Broom, +1-336-662-0246 Ext.1721
media@haci.honda.com
 
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