An Automobile Company Designing Airplanes

Michimasa Fujino, the president and CEO of Honda Aircraft Company.

(Tim Loerkhe/USA Today)
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We also discovered that pylon shape and spanwise location gave us better stall characteristics than those of a clean wing. So the maximum lift is even slightly higher than that of a wing without the engine mounted.

A&S: What has been the reaction to the wing-mounted engines?
You know, when I designed the over-the-wing engine mount configuration, even after I could prove some advantage in performance with data from tests, people continued to say that even if the performance is good, over-the-wing engine doesn’t look cool. They said it looks very ugly. The first time I proposed over-the-wing configuration, everybody said, this is not a good idea from a technical standpoint. And when I proved the technical advantage, they continued to say that it’s a very ugly airplane. But when we pulled the airplane from the facility to the outside, people were very impressed and said “Hondajet looks very good.” And every time the engineers see the airplane, they come to like the pylon shape more and more. And actually one of the technicians said to me that what he likes most of the airplane is the pylon.

You know, when you meet a person, your first impression of that person may not be great, but you grow to like that person more and more when you know him better. Over-the-wing engine mount configuration may be similar because now nobody says the airplane doesn’t look good. I like it most when everybody now says, HondaJet is a beautiful airplane. When people put the word “beautiful” in front of HondaJet, that is the best compliment for me now.

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