Honda’s first commercially available aircraft has been over twenty years in the making

On Friday, Honda Aircraft Company officially took to the skies in their maiden flight of a production HA-420 business jet. It’s been over twenty years in the making.

Honda’s first commercially available jet will officially enter service in 2015 after attaining proper certification.

“With this first flight, the HondaJet program has entered the next exciting phase as we prepare for delivery,” said Honda Aircraft Company President and CEO Michimasa Fujino.

“Today’s celebration is the culmination of extensive engineering and production efforts, and this is an important achievement in bringing the world’s most advanced light jet to market.”

The initial production-spec flight of the HA-420 lasted 84 minutes as the jet climed to 15,500 feet and reached a speed of 348 Knots True Airspeed (KTAS) (644 km/h). When the aircraft landed, the flight crew was welcomed home by more than 1,000 Honda Aircraft team members.

The HondaJet HA-420 is expected to cost customers around $4.5 million USD.

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