The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has announced that Michimasa Fujino, lead HondaJet designer and president and CEO of Honda Aircraft Company, will receive the 2021 Reed Aeronautics Award ‘for the invention of advanced aerodynamic and structural techniques’. Fujino will be presented with the award during the AIAA Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala on 12 August.
The AIAA Reed Aeronautics Award is the highest honour an individual can receive for a notable achievement in aeronautics that represents a significant engineering advancement milestone. Fujino's clean-sheet aircraft design introduced innovations in aviation technology including the Over-The-Wing Engine Mount and Natural Laminar Flow wing and fuselage. The HondaJet is the first and only business jet to include these technologies.
"I am honoured to be recognised by the AIAA with the 2021 Reed Aeronautics Award and, on behalf of the entire HondaJet team, we are proud to be presented with this tremendous accolade," Fujino states. “It is a great privilege to be recognised by such a distinguished organisation for the HondaJet's advanced aerodynamic and structural technologies. As a leading mobility technology company, Honda Aircraft will continue to invest in leading-edge technologies that become the new standard in the industry.”
AIAA president Basil Hassan adds: “Dr. Fujino's dedication to utilise cutting-edge aeronautical technologies to create new value in business aviation with the HondaJet is an inspiration to the global aerospace industry. AIAA is committed to ensuring that aerospace professionals are recognised and celebrated for their achievements, innovations and discoveries that make the world safer, more connected, more accessible and more prosperous. Dr. Fujino's passion for innovation makes him a deserving recipient of this year's Reed Aeronautics Award."
The HondaJet's Over-The-Wing Engine Mount (OTWEM) configuration produces what Fujino calls ‘favourable interference’ by optimising the design and placement of the engine nacelles. It combines the airflow over the wing with the airflow around the engine to reduce wave drag at high speeds, and significantly improves aircraft performance and efficiency. Moreover, the OTWEM configuration creates more space for the cabin and external cargo areas. The configuration also reduces cabin noise.
The advanced technologies introduced by the HondaJet also include a newly developed natural laminar flow (NLF) wing and fuselage nose, carbon composite fuselage, and advanced cockpit and interior design, which give the HondaJet the best performance and comfort in its class. A proven industry disruptor, the HondaJet has been the most delivered aircraft in its class for four consecutive years since 2017.
The Reed Aeronautics Award is named after Dr. Sylvanus A. Reed, the aeronautical engineer, designer, and founding member of the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences in 1932. Past recipients of the award include Clarence L. Johnson for the SR-71, Ben R. Rich for the F-117, Preston A. Henne for the MD-80 and Gulfstream aircraft, and Elbert L. Rutan for Voyager.