Did You Know ? - Interesting facts and figures about HondaJet
Business jets aim to deliver the ability to fly at high altitudes because of the following benefits:
Lower air resistance in the thin atmosphere at high altitude allows faster flight speeds.
Better fuel economy
Lower air resistance means the engine requires less power than at lower altitude, improving fuel economy.
At higher altitudes aircraft are less affected by bad weather and turbulence from jet streams, allowing a smoother journey.
A strong fuselage is required to fly at high altitudes
As the atmosphere becomes thinner and air pressure drops at high altitude, cabin pressure must be maintained by sealing the plane's interior with an airtight wall and circulating air via an air conditioning system.
In this situation, cabin air tries to swell outward to reduce the pressure differential. The ability of the fuselage to withstand this pressure is what determines an aircraft's maximum operating altitude.
The HondaJet has achieved a class-leading maximum operating altitude of 13,000m (43,000ft) in an FAA-conforming test model, a product of the superior fuselage strength of the aircraft's integrally molded carbon composite body. (May 17, 2011)
The speed of land vehicles such as cars is measured by how fast their
wheels rotate. But in the case of planes, this can be measured by
something other than wheels that changes with speed―the air flow which
passes across the plane as it flies.
The device which measures this flow of air is called a pitot tube―named after its inventor Henri Pitot.
How a pitot tube works
Pitot tubes calculate airspeed from dynamic pressure, which is found by subtracting the air's surrounding pressure (static pressure)—measured through small holes in the side—from the pressure of air flow into a tube in the front of the device (stagnation pressure).
The HondaJet's pitot tubes
Three in total: two on the right side and one on the left side. One of the right hand side pitot tubes is a backup.
These are generally located in the same spots where they are located on commercial airliners—be sure to check them out!
HondaJet's first FAA-conforming test model reached a maximum speed of 425 knots (787km/h), exceeding its target performance of 420 knots (778km/h). (March 11, 2011)
The below photograph shows the HondaJet during a test flight. You can see a red rod-shaped device (nose boom) on the tip of the nose.
This nose boom is, in fact, an air data measurement device, and attached to its tip is a pitot tube.
As the pitot tube on the front of the air boom is unaffected by air stream disturbances from the aircraft, flight speed can be measured with greater accuracy during testing.
The wings of a plane generate lift―the force necessary to propel the aircraft upwards into the sky. But what other function do a plane's wings serve?
The answer is: holding the fuel tank
Wings are generally positioned near a plane's center of gravity. The interior of an aircraft's wings is ideal for storing fuel tanks as there is sufficient space and their positioning means that the expenditure of fuel has minimal impact on the plane's center of gravity.
Also reduces the load on the wing root
The weight of fuel loaded into the wings increases the downward force on the wing. This downward force helps ease the upward load on the wing base when lift is generated during flight. Accordingly, wing fuel tanks play a part in reducing stress on the wing root.
The HondaJet's Wings
The HondaJet features natural laminar flow wings developed independently by Honda. Naturally, the aircraft's fuel tanks are located inside these wings. The HondaJet's natural laminar flow wings not only increase flight speed and contribute to greater fuel efficiency, but also have a higher wing thickness ratio* than other models of the same class, allowing a larger volume of fuel to be carried.
Even the smallest surface aberrations can impact the aerodynamic performance of planes which fly at high speeds. At the HondaJet production facility, a pre-paint coating is first applied to the fuselage in a "crossdraft" booth where air is circulated from front to back along the aircraft body.
Contaminants such as dust and paint droplets are washed to the booth floor and removed through a drainage system to prevent impurities in the coating surface.
Next, the topcoat is applied in a "downdraft" booth, in which air is circulated from ceiling to floor to prevent paint droplets from adhering to the fuselage.
Separating the coating process into two stages has made it possible to achieve industry leading performance in both aerodynamics and aesthetics.
The HondaJet's Distinctive Color Scheme
The HondaJet's color scheme was first adopted in 2003 for the first test model. When the aircraft was subsequently displayed at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, the largest aviation show in the U.S., in 2005, its coloring drew wide praise from aviation fans, garnering comments such as "I've never seen such a beautiful plane!"
The mass-production model currently under development employs the same distinctive coloring, with silver, red, and yellow variations available in addition to the original blue.