This biographical article is written like a résumé. (May 2019)
Michimasa Fujino 藤野道格
|Born||1960 (age 58–59)|
|Education||University of Tokyo for Aeronautical Engineering, 1984|
|Occupation||President & CEO of Honda Aircraft Company Inc.|
|Known for||Honda Aircraft founder, HondaJet|
|Case Study 4 HondaJet, Design and Development of the HondaJet |
Michimasa Fujino (藤野 道格 Fujino Michimasa) is a Japanese aeronautical engineer, businessman, entrepreneur, and the founding president and CEO of the Honda Aircraft Company, a subsidiary of the Honda Motor Company. At Honda Aircraft, he has played a crucial role in the recent growth of the company, and is responsible for the overall strategy of its design, development, certification, marketing, sales, and production of the HondaJet. Since 2015, he has also concurrently served as a managing officer of Honda.
For his work at Honda Aircraft, Fujino has received the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aircraft Design Award (2012), the SAE International Award, the Clarence L. Kelly Johnson Aerospace and Vehicle Design Award (2014), and the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences Award for Innovation in Aeronautics. As the first aircraft designer to receive all four prestigious awards, Fujino has been regarded as helping pioneer the modern light jet industry with the HondaJet.
- 1 Background
- 2 Career
- 3 Innovations and designs
- 4 Selected publications
- 5 Honors and awards
- 6 Notes
- 7 External links
- American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Fellow
- Royal Aeronautical Society Fellow
- Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Fellow
- Foreign Member of National Academy of Engineering (NAE)
Prior to becoming president and CEO of Honda Aircraft, Fujino rose through the engineering ranks to become a vice president with Honda R&D Americas Inc., and named the large project leader for the HondaJet program. In this capacity, he led all Honda’s aircraft researches including theoretical analysis, experimental verification and flight testing, which eventually became the HondaJet. The HondaJet received United States Federal Aviation Administration Type Certification in 2015 and the company began customer deliveries.
Fujino joined Honda R&D Co., Ltd. in Japan in 1984, after graduating from the University of Tokyo with a degree in aeronautical engineering. He spent the first two years of his career in the automobile research division working on the development of a new electrical control steering system. Fujino was then assigned to a research project in the field of aviation.
Fujino and the Honda aviation team was transplanted to a leading research center for advanced aeronautics at Starkville, Mississippi in 1986. The first experimental jet was an airplane modified from an existing single-engine turboprop plane, but the second jet was built from scratch. It was a pure experimental aircraft that consisted of various new technologies. Fujino and the team generated many drawings and performed numerous stress analyses, conducted structural test, system test, and ground vibration tests, and even had to sand tooling molds by hand. Spending enormous amount of time and effort on this project, Fujino has come to understand the theory needed to design an airplane. At the same time, he has gained advanced technology skills with sufficient experience to fabricate and develop an airplane.
During the research project, Fujino envisioned a great potential for high performance light jet. He thought if an airplane could be designed having both high fuel efficiency and high speed, without sacrificing cabin volume and luggage space, there would be a potential demand in the business jet markets. Fujino continues to develop various new technologies in order to achieve his goal.
After Fujino's return to Japan, he pitched an idea of Over-the-wing engine mount, and was assigned large project leader for the HondaJet program in 1997. Along with his passion, determination, and responsibility as a leader to develop HondaJet, Fujino took on the role of president & CEO of Honda Aircraft Company in August 2006. He now resides with his wife and three children in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Innovations and designs
Fujino’s clean sheet design for an advanced light jet that could achieve both high speed and high fuel efficiency led to the development of key technologies and concepts. He discovered the optimum Over-The-Wing Engine Mount configuration to reduce wave drag at transonic speed. This aeronautical breakthrough was proven to dramatically enhance aircraft performance, fuel efficiency, and passenger comfort (spacious and quiet cabin).
He also developed a new natural laminar flow (NLF) wing and fuselage nose for the light jet and a new hybrid composite structure, which contributed to a lighter airframe. These three innovations allow the HondaJet to achieve highest speed, superior fuel efficiency and the most cabin and luggage space over other jets in its class.
Fujino stated that their objectives was to design and develop an advanced light jet that would create new value for personal and business aviation.
Through Fujino's practical experience building and designing airplane, and his thorough understanding of advanced technology in aviation, he was able to pursuit of future airplane design concept- HondaJet.
Over-The-Wing Engine Mount (OTWEM) Configuration
Where most aircraft the engines are below the wings or attached to the rear fuselage, Fujino's idea was to locating the engine nacelle over the wing. The OTWEM design improves performance and fuel efficiency by reducing aerodynamic drag. It also reduces cabin sound, minimizes ground detected noise, and allows room for passengers, luggage, as well as a private lavatory.
In order to reduce aerodynamic drag and maximize HondaJet's performance, Fujino has applied the NLF technology on the main wing airfoil (NLF wing) and fuselage nose (NLF nose).
By applying composite material to the fuselage, which is created from the co-cured integral structure and honeycomb sandwich structures, Fujino allowed the best cost-performance of the jet and contour for aerodynamic.
Fujino's cockpit design has achieved a high degree of flight safety with more space and greater visibility provided to the pilot. The Garmin G3000 avionic system with the dual touch-screen controller and three 14-inch landscape high-resolution displays offer enhanced navigation, flight planning, and control.
- 2013. Case Study 4, HondaJet (615-647): Fundamentals of Aircraft and Airship Design, Vol.2, Leland M. Nicolai and Grant E. Carichner; Published by American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for the AIAA Education Series ISBN 978-1-60086-898-6.
- 2012. Aeronautical and Space Sciences Japan, Vol.60, No.4, Development of the HondaJet.
- 2005. Journal of Aircraft 0021-8669 Vol.42 No.3 (755-764): Design and Development of the HondaJet.
- 2005. Proceedings: The 36th JSASS Annual Meeting: Design and Development of the HondaJet.
- 2004. ICAS 2004-1.7.2: Development of the HondaJet.
- 2004. ICAS 2004-4.10.1: Initial Flight Testing of the HondaJet.
- 2003. Journal of Aircraft 0021-8669 Vol.40 No.4 (609-615): Natural-Laminar-Flow Airfoil Development for a Lightweight Business Jet.
- 2003. Journal of Aircraft 0021-8669 Vol.40 No.6 (1177-1184): Wave-Drag Characteristics of an Over-the-Wing Nacelle Business-Jet Configuration.
- 2003. AIAA-2003-1942: Flutter Characteristics of an Over-the-Wing Engine Mount Business Jet Configuration.
Honors and awards
Fujino has received international recognition for his pioneering contributions to aeronautical research and design. He has been the recipient of numerous international awards and distinctions, including the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS) “Award for Innovation in Aeronautics” (2014), SAE International “Clarence L. (Kelly) Johnson Aerospace Vehicle Design and Development Award” (2014), the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) “Aircraft Design Award” (2012), and Aviation Week and Technology’s “Vision Award” (2008). His extensive research and theories on aircraft configuration design, advanced aerodynamics and aeroelasticity have been published in numerous technical and academic journals, and he holds several patents for aircraft design. Fujino has also been recognized in the industrial design (ornamental design) field and received the Good Design Gold Award (2007) and Japan Industrial Designers’ Association Design Museum Award (2011).
- 2015. Japan Prime Minister Award – Japan Industry Grand Prize
- 2015. Living Legends of Aviation Industry Leader of the year
- 2014. Clarence L. (Kelly) Johnson Aerospace Vehicle Design and Development Award – SAE 
- 2014. Award for Innovation in Aeronautics – ICAS (International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences) 
- 2012. AIAA Aircraft Design Award - American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics 
- 2011. Design Museum Award - Japan Industrial Designers’ Association 
- 2010. Techs to Watch No. 1 - Aviation Week and Technology
- 2008. Vision Award - Aviation Week 
- 2007. Good Design Gold Award 
- 2004. Technology Award - Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences 
- 2004. Top 10 Technology Award – SAE 
- ""Award for Innovation in Aeronautics" Given to Honda Aircraft Company President Michimasa Fujino by the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences". www.hondajet.com. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
- "HondaJet: On a Wing and a Dare". airportjournals.com. 1 February 2007. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
- Muller, Joann. "How The HondaJet Took Flight: An Engineer's 29-Year Obsession". forbes.com. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
- "SAE International to Honor Honda Aircraft Company President Michimasa Fujino with Clarence L. (Kelly) Johnson Aerospace Vehicle Design and Development Award - Honda.com". news.honda.com. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
- "SAE International to Honor Honda Aircraft Company President Michimasa Fujino with Clarence L. (Kelly) Johnson Aerospace Vehicle Design and Development Award". www.hondajet.com. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
- "Awards & Accolades - HondaJet". www.hondajet.com. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
- "A History of Business Jet Innovation - HondaJet". www.hondajet.com. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
- "AIAA Bestows 2012 Aircraft Design Award on HondaJet Design:Michimasa Fujino Honored for HondaJet Design Technical Achievement". www.hondajet.com. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
- "Awards & Accolades - HondaJet". www.hondajet.com. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
- Honda Aircraft Company, Inc.
- USA Today - Honda brings small-jet dynamo to market
- USA Today - Honda's microjet ready for takeoff
- Forbes - Flight Plans
- The Robb Report - Icons & Innovators: Honda: The Old Man and the Sky
- Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine - A & S Interview: Michimasa Fujino[permanent dead link]
- Aviation International News Online - Michimasa Fujino: father of the HondaJet
- Aviation International News Online - Movers & Shakers: Honda defined the compact car. Can it do the same thing with a business jet?
- Greensboro News & Record - HondaJet picks PTI[permanent dead link]
- AOPA Pilot Magazine - HondaJet: Behind the Curtain
- The Detroit News - New HondaJet ready for takeoff
- VLJ Magazine - Michimasa Fujino CEO, Honda Aircraft Company
- Journal of Aircraft - Design and Development of the HondaJet[permanent dead link]