From the July 2017 Issue

Honda Aircraft: New Division, Old Culture

The Gold Wing in the main photo was shot at Honda Aircraft Company’s massive headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina. It’s the first thing you see when entering the main lobby, and presumably it’s there as an important reminder of Honda’s heritage. In 1946, Soichiro Honda established the Honda Technical Research Institute to develop machine tools and engines. In 2017, the brand name is delivering an ultramodern jet. For motorheads and curious consumers alike, the Honda timeline of milestones is an interesting read.


Current Issue

Honda HA-420 Serious Contender

An ancient axiom of aviation is that a company that sets out to design a brand new airframe and wrap it around a brand new engine design had better have a vast pool of money, expertise and patience or an excellent team of bankruptcy attorneys. The aircraft manufacturing world is littered with the remains of companies and concepts that simply could not get through the astronomical combination of variables and issues that must be identified and subsequently solved when absolutely everything is new. With the financial backing of an automotive giant, Honda Aircraft pulled it off, although it took nearly 20 years.

Used Light Jets: Cessna CJ2+ A Standout

If you’re shopping the light jet market and the near $5 million HA-420 HondaJet doesn’t fit the budget, there are other choices that might be more palatable. To find out what they are, we talked with several business aircraft sales brokers and the model that came up in every conversation is the Cessna 525A CJ2+. While it may not be an exact apples to apples comparison with the HondaJet, it’s arguably the closest competing used jet in the class.

Altitude Encoders: Cheaper If Not Smaller

Altitude encoders are the doorstops of the avionics world. You have to have one, but don’t expect a sweep through the list of available hardware to yield impressive lists of features and capabilities. After all, all the gadgets do is electronically deliver altitude data to a transponder that then reports your altitude to ATC—Mode C.

Editor’s Choice Awards: Diamond Wins for Guts

Although piston aircraft sales are mostly in the tank, Diamond Aircraft came to the Aero show in Germany this past spring announcing not one, but three new single-engine piston models to be designated the DA50. It has its competitive sights directly on Cirrus.

Engine Tough To Start? SlickStart, iStart Help

Cold starts, hot starts and over enthusiastic priming are just some of the scenarios that can lead to an airplane sitting on the ground because the engine refuses to fire. The best way to ensure a quick engine start is to boost the energy to the spark plugs because with enough spark, the fuel and air mixture will certainly burn. Champion Aerospace’s SlickStart magneto booster promises to do just that. Here’s how it works, plus an overview of aircraft piston engine ignition theory.

Avionics Corrosion: Moisture Is The Enemy

There’s a lot of emphasis on airframe corrosion, yet owners and technicians rarely consider the corrosion that plagues avionics—a system that can be more susceptible than the airframe. Big-airplane maintenance programs keep on top of it for good reasons.

ReliefBand Watch: Still Tops For Sickness

I’ve turned down rides in cool warbirds and open-cockpit aerobats because once I got pretty sick doing aerobatics-and I was the one on the controls. For me, the rotten experience makes the ReliefBand therapeutic watch worth the $95.

Diamond DA40

Given its European roots, Diamond came at the DA40’s design as sort of a hybrid between the sleek glass gliders the company started out producing when it was Hoffmann Flugzeugbau and more traditional aircraft U.S. customers are accustomed to. This yielded what we think can arguably be called a world airplane.

Download the Full July 2017 Issue PDF

The Gold Wing in the main photo was shot at Honda Aircraft Company’s massive headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina. It’s the first thing you see when entering the main lobby, and presumably it’s there as an important reminder of Honda’s heritage. In 1946, Soichiro Honda established the Honda Technical Research Institute to develop machine tools and engines. In 2017, the brand name is delivering an ultramodern jet. For motorheads and curious consumers alike, the Honda timeline of milestones is an interesting read.

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