TORRANCE, California, USA, HondaJet, an advanced light jet that went on sale last month, has been selected by Popular Science magazine as the winner of the publication's 2006 "Best of What's New" Award in the Aviation & Space category. The HondaJet was chosen from among dozens of aviation products for its breakthrough design and innovative features, representing a significant step forward in its category.
"We're honored that HondaJet was selected for this respected award," said Michimasa Fujino, who led the HondaJet development team and is now president & CEO of Honda Aircraft Company, Inc. "Our objective was to design and develop an advanced light jet that would create new value for personal and business aviation. We appreciate this award recognizing our success in creating something truly innovative."
HondaJet, which recently entered the "very light jet" market, features several innovations that help it achieve far better fuel efficiency, larger cabin and luggage space and higher cruise speed than conventional aircraft in its class. Innovations include a patented over-the-wing engine-mount, a natural-laminar flow (NLF) wing and fuselage nose, and an advanced all-composite fuselage structure.
Each year, the editors of Popular Science review thousands of products in search of the top 100 tech innovations of the year; breakthrough products and technologies that represent a significant leap in their categories. The winners - the Best of What's New - are awarded inclusion in the much-anticipated December issue of Popular Science, the most widely read issue of the year since the debut of Best of What's New in 1987. Best of What's New awards are presented to 100 new products and technologies in 10 categories: Automotive, Aviation & Space, Computing, Engineering, Gadgets, General Innovation, Home Entertainment, Home Tech, Personal Health and Recreation.
The result of 20 years of aviation research, HondaJet's NLF wing and NLF fuselage nose were developed through extensive analyses and wind-tunnel testing. These designs help HondaJet achieve low drag. Its patented over-the-wing engine-mount configuration helps eliminate the need for a structure to mount the engines to the rear fuselage, maximizing space in the fuselage for passengers and luggage. By determining the optimal position for the engines, the over-the-wing mount actually reduces drag at high speed to improve fuel efficiency.
The advanced all-composite fuselage structure consists of a combination of honeycomb sandwich structure and co-cured stiffened panels, reducing weight and manufacturing costs. HondaJet is also outfitted with a state-of-the-art all-glass flight deck with an integrated avionics system that displays all information digitally on a high resolution flat display, and also has an autopilot function.
Founded in 1872, Popular Science is the world's largest science and technology magazine; with a circulation of 1.45 million and 6.5 million monthly readers. Each month, Popular Science reports on the intersection of science and everyday life, with an eye toward what's new and why it matters. Popular Science is published by Time4 Media, a subsidiary of Time Inc., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc.
Based in Greensboro, N.C, Honda Aircraft Company, Inc., is pursuing FAA type certification and production certification for its advanced light jet, with the goal of completing certification in three to four years, followed by the start of production in the U.S. and delivery of the first plane in 2010. The company began accepting sales order last month. Over 120 customers have already signed letters of intent to purchase a HondaJet.