HondaJet now ready for take off

Published: 10 December 2015

► Honda’s first aircraft approved
► 3000hrs of testing, 483mph top speed
► Innovative, highly efficient design

Yes, yes, we know – Hyperloop transportation systems yesterday, jet aircraft today. But both of these things are pretty interesting, aren’t they? Especially when the aircraft in question is the HondaJet. That’s Honda as in Honda, the Japanese car manufacture of historically magical engineering prowess and occasional goofiness.

Anyway, the point is after completing its first flight last year, the HondaJet has now received its type certification from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This means production can being in earnest ahead of delivery to actual customers. There are 25 in-build at the Honda Aircraft Company’s HQ in Greensboro, North Carolina right now.

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What’s the big deal with the HondaJet?

Aside from it being Honda’s first ever commercial aircraft, it is also claimed to be ‘the fastest, highest-flying, quietest and most fuel-efficient jet in it class’.

It achieves these feats in typical Honda fashion through innovative engineering. The HondaJet features ‘Over-The-Wing Engine Mounts’, which are said to ‘drastically’ improve performance and efficiency due to their reduced aerodynamic drag, while also minimising noise and allowing for class-leading passenger and baggage space. In other words, it’s a bit of a big deal.

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Is the HondaJet fast? 

Powered by a pair of GE Honda HF120 turbofan jet engines, the HondaJet’s top speed is 420 knots, which is equivalent to 483mph. Some 3000 flight hours have gone into the certification process, with testing conducted at 70 locations around the USA. Here’s what Honda Aircraft Company president and CEO Michimasa Fujino had to say on receiving the all-important paperwork: 

‘Achieving FAA type certification for the HondaJet is a monumental milestone for Honda. We established Honda Aircraft as a new aerospace company and introduced our first product – an advance light jet with technologies developed from serious research activities. We designed, tested, and have now certified this clean-sheet design aircraft – an unprecedented challenge for Honda.’

We’ll bring you our first flight impressions soon – right Honda? 

By CJ Hubbard

Former CAR magazine associate editor, road tester, organiser, extremely variable average wheel count

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