Friday, July 31, 2015

Look out for Honda Jet

HA-420 Honda Jet is designed by a brilliant engineer named Michimasa Fujino.Sounding like a character from Japanese anime, he is a very interesting person. He is the president and CEO of Honda Aircraft Company, but  an Aeronautical engineer in heart. He designed and manufactured Honda Jet from scratch. His breakthrough in engine wing mount is what made Honda Jet possible.  He says " My career objective was to create a concept for an airplane, and design and sell it by myself".(Ref. Forbes)

Sellling at $4.5million, HA-420 is one unique jet with its engine wing mount configuration. It also has a distinctive nose design. With top speed of 778kmph (483mph) and service ceiling of 43,000ft - HA-420 flies faster and higher than any other business jet in its class, such as Cessna’s Citation Mustang (391mph) and Embraer’s Phenom 100E (448mph) jets. It is also 15% more fuel efficient.

Honda Aircraft Company is the sister company of Honda, the automobile manufacturer. Three decades ago, in 1986, the visionaries in Honda took a fling with developing a business jet from scratch. They asked Fujino, an engineer in Honda, to look at this proposition. 

Fujino was happy to accept this top secret project/challenge and let himself wander into business aviation space. Soon enough, Fujino was travelling to U.S. to study the culture and it's need for a business jet. It became obvious to Fujino there was indeed a market for small business jet which were quieter, faster, spacier and fuel efficient. 

His idea to mount engines on top of the wing made breakthrough. He was successful in finding an aerodynamic sweet spot for engine wing top mount. This design is against the traditional aerodynamic laws. But Fujino was able to prove that at top speeds this configuration indeed produce more lift. 

This breakthrough when combined with Natural laminar flow airfoil , body and nose - it became the corner stone of the new Honda Jet. There are even carefully designed dents in the nose for best laminar flow. 

After much hardships and overcoming them hardwork; Fujino displayed his creation on July 28, 2005 in AirVenture Oshkosh - an airshow conducted by Experimental Aircraft Association. The aircraft was welcomed with amazement and admiration. 

As of now Honda Aircraft Company has more than 100 orders scheduled to roll out by next year. 

The HA-420 is a perfect example of how innovations can come from very unexpected areas and can make great changes if you let it happen.

Thank You guys for reading. 

Until next time, this is CK signing off.


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