The Honda Jet
Honda takes flight
Just when you thought Honda could not get more innovative, the company’s creativity has soared — literally. With the introduction of HondaJet, aviation is now part of the Honda line up, delivering to its customers the joy of personal mobility in the sky. The brainchild of Honda engineer Michimasa Fujino, the HondaJet is an aircraft that is the culmination of extensive research — 30 years to be exact — a passion and a vision that is unmatched.
What began on the drawing board is now in the air, with a technologically advanced aircraft that meets Honda’s gold standard for mobility. The pinnacle of engineering performance, the HondaJet is the world’s most advanced light business jet, and it is changing the face of the light jet category as only Honda can do. It is already receiving accolades, winning the 2018 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Award for Excellence, acknowledging the company’s exceptional accomplishments in the aerospace community. The HondaJet was lauded for its design and development and for setting a new standard in business aviation.
This jet is compact, lightweight and provides ample space and superior comfort. Add to that fuel-efficiency, unique technology and design innovation, and you have the HondaJet— a game-changer, dream maker and show stopper….
Introducing the HondaJet…the possibilities are endless
The HondaJet’s history is long — and impressive. It was originally given the green light back in 1986, which was when its research began, but didn’t take its maiden flight, not yet approved commercially but proof-of-concept, until December, 2003. It is the first aircraft developed by Honda Aircraft Co. and was designed in Japan. It was eventually developed and manufactured in Greensboro, N.C., and a total of 85 have been built as of this June. Honda began studying small-sized business jets in the late 1980s, using engines from other manufacturers.
Designer and company founder Michimasa Fujino sketched the Honda Jet in 1997, and the concept was locked in in 1999. It wasn’t until 2004 that Honda approved the commercial development of the HondaJet, which ultimately made its world debut in July, 2005, at the annual EAA AirVenture Oshkosh airshow. It was the following year that Honda announced it would commercialize the HondaJet.
The HondaJet has a range of about 1,400 miles with four passengers and can go from Boston to Fort Lauderdale Fla., in less than three hours. Overall, the jet is 43 feet long and 15 feet tall with a 40-foot wingspan. Its nose and wing design contribute to the plane’s performance and also doesn’t look like your typical jet. It’s powered by General Electric/Honda HF120 turbofan engines, capable of producing 2,050 pounds of thrust. This engine is fuel-efficient yet powerful at the same time. And uniquely, instead of on the main fuselage, the Honda Jet’s engines are on pylons above each wing. This results in increased cargo capacity while reducing cabin noise.
The engine features a single fan, a two-stage compressor and a two-stage turbine.
The HondaJet can hold an impressive 66 cubic feet of “stuff” and even has a “trunk” in the back and more storage at the nose. Inside, the cabin is 17.8 feet long, 5 feet wide and 4.8 feet tall. The HondaJet can seat four passengers comfortably, but that number can rise to six if a passenger opted to sit in the jump seat by the door and in the co-pilot’s seat. Behind the passenger cabin is a private bathroom with a sink, toilet and a skylight in the bathroom ceiling. Its over-the-wing engine mount configuration was designed to maximize cabin space.
Honda specifically and deliberately created a design with comfort in mind. The jet has an “at home” atmosphere, thousands of miles above it. Advancements in aerodynamics and Natural Laminar Flow technology were applied to the design of the HondaJet’s main wing airfoil and fuselage nose shape to reduce aerodynamic drag. This cutting-edge innovation is made clear in high cruising speed and increased fuel efficiency. The HondaJet is also advanced and unique in its application not of aluminum but a lighter, yet strong composite fuselage. This fuselage is created from a cutting edge merging of co-cured integral structure and honeycomb sandwich structures. The result — increased cabin space, better performance and greater fuel efficiency.
Even its cockpit speaks to a number of advancements, first being constituted for the most favorable and optimum safety based on thoughtful ergonomic design and state-of-the-art situational awareness. The pilot is given more space and greater visibility and the all-glass avionics system brings the pilot and aircraft closer together with advanced touch-screen technology. The pilot takes advantage of enhanced navigation, flight planning and control due to the dual touch-screen controllers and three 14-inch landscape high-resolution displays. The cockpit is intentionally and without a doubt built around the pilot to enable either single-pilot or dual-pilot operation of the aircraft.
Holding true to Honda’s “user-first” philosophy, the HondaJet exemplifies that in a number of ways, with its refined technology and the delivery of unprecedented new value. Through this compact, lightweight, small-sized business jet with ample space and exceptional comfort, HondaJet is providing a faster, more comfortable and fuel-efficient flight while increasing convenience and reducing cost and environmental impact. It has transferred its philosophy from the land to the sky, meeting new challenges and bringing to Honda customers and aficionados, the exhilaration that only comes with personal mobility.
The HondaJet is a leader in its class, with a maximum operating altitude of 13,000 m (43,000 feet) in an FAA-conforming test model, a product of the superb fuselage strength of the aircraft’s integrally molded carbon composite body. It can achieve a maximum speed of 782 km/h or 486 mph. Its cruise speed is 682 km/h or 423 mph. The HondaJet outperforms all other aircrafts in its class and is considered the world’s most advanced light business jet. Lower air resistance in the thin atmosphere and a high altitude allows faster flight speed. In addition, this aircraft is less affected by bad weather and turbulence from jet streams, therefore allowing for a smoother, more pleasant trip. The flight speed is increased due to the jet’s nature laminar flow wings. The HondaJet is undoubtedly light in structure but heavy in performance and boasts great fuel efficiency.
Its “Elite” status
It was in May of 2018, that Honda revealed its HondaJet Elite, which boasts the addition of an auxiliary fuel tank which increased the jet’s range by 23 to 1,437 nmi. It also included a new engine inlet which serves to reduce vibration and cabin noise. The lavatory on the plane received a belted seat with this new Elite version, allowing for a seventh passenger. Honda began deliveries of the Elite in August of 2018. It inherited Honda Aircraft’s aeronautical breakthroughs, such as the Over-the-Wing Engine Mount configuration, composite fuselage and Natural Laminar Flow fuselage nose and wing, but is further refined with various aerodynamical technologies. These technologies allow for farther flights and less noise pollution.