A prototype of Honda’s light jet, which will seat five to six passengers and is scheduled to go on sale next year, made its first flight last month.
A unique shape made possible by composites helps cut fuel consumption while allowing faster speeds.
Uses 20 percent less fuel than similar-sized planes while also flying faster.The airplane makes extensive use of composite materials—a combination of carbon fiber and resins that reduces a plane’s weight. So far the materials are rare in business jets, though they’ve become common in small, home-built kit planes. They are also beginning to see more use by big jet makers such as Airbus and Boeing, which are seeking ways to reduce fuel consumption.
The shape of the fuselage and wings allows air to move more smoothly over the skin of the plane. This smooth flow of air is called natural laminar flow, and it’s usually limited to small parts of the surface of a business jet. The air over the rest of the surface is turbulent, creating drag. Honda sought to extend how far the laminar flow extends along the fuselage and the wing.
via technologyreview via hondajet
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