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Honda HA-420 HondaJet


Entry-Level, Very-Light Business / VIP Jet


The Honda HA-420 HondaJet has produced most-promising results since its introduction in January of 2016 - being described as one of the quietest and fastest jets of its class.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 5/22/2019
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Specifications


Year: 2016
Status: Active, Limited Service
Manufacturer(s): Honda Aircraft Company - Japan / United States
Production: 68
Capabilities: Commercial Market; Business Jet; VIP Transport;
Crew: 2
Length: 42.65 ft (13 m)
Width: 39.76 ft (12.12 m)
Height: 14.93 ft (4.55 m)
Weight (MTOW): 9,965 lb (4,520 kg)
Power: 2 x General Electric Honda Aero Engines HF-120 turbofan engines developing 2,050lb of thrust each and set in an "over-wing" arrangement.
Speed: 485 mph (780 kph; 421 kts)
Ceiling: 42,995 feet (13,105 m; 8.14 miles)
Range: 1,181 miles (1,900 km; 1,026 nm)
Rate-of-Climb: 4,000 ft/min (1,219 m/min)
Operators: Japan; United States
The new HA-420 "HondaJet" is a lightweight, entry-level business / VIP jet aircraft brought to fruition by Honda Aircraft Company. The proof-of-concept first flew in 2003 and the HondaJet program was formally launched three years later - culminating in an all-new light jet set to compete with such power players as Cessna of the United States and Embraer of Brazil. The HondaJet was formally introduced in January of 2016, some five years behind its scheduled certification date (originally sometime in 2009-2010). Nevertheless, the smallish jet forms the beginning of what may very well turn out to become a family of light jets handled by the aircraft branch of the Honda Motor Company.

The HondaJet was designed by one-time automotive-turned-aeronautical engineer Michimasa Fujino who currently presides as president of the Honda aircraft section headquartered at Greensboro, North Carolina and employing over 1,200 personnel.

The HondaJet is a technological achievement in its own right, utilizing both proven and all-new aeronautical qualities which, in some key ways, make it a very unique light jet entry. One of its key physical design characteristics is its "over-wing" mounted engine nacelles which were developed with the help of General Electric (GE) from the original Honda HF118 offering. The new powerplant outputs 2,050lb of thrust and the aircraft seats a two of these in individual nacelles atop pylons located at the aft section of each wing mainplane.

The position of these engines was selected with help from Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) which finalized the best placement for the powerplants resulting in reduced high-speed drag and increasing the maximum Lift Coefficient (the natural lift being generated). Their position along the wings also allowed engineers much-needed "elbow room" at the fuselage section, producing a longer, quieter cabin for even the most discerning of VIP guests. The engines themselves promise noise reduction, high-end performance and fuel efficiency at the cost of higher take-off speeds and longer take-off runs. A tricycle undercarriage is featured for ground-running with all of the legs being single-wheeled.

The wings have also been given special attention - constructed of aluminum alloys (as opposed to composites) for maximum airflow efficiency and strength. The tail follows in its aluminum make-up (semi-monocoque construction) and is arranged in a conventional "T-style", helping the horizontal planes clear the resulting engine wash. The low-drag nosecone is a specially-designed assembly promoting sound laminar airflow down the tubular fuselage section and its composite construction saves on weight. Dimensions of the aircraft include an overall length of 42.6 feet, a wingspan of 39.8 feet and a height of 14.10 feet.

The 2 x GE Honda Aero Engines HF120 turbofan units coupled with the aircraft's streamlined, attention-getting design provide a maximum speed reaching 485 miles per hour with 435 mph used in cruising. Ferry range is out to 1,500 miles and a rate-of-climb of 4,000 feet-per-minute is listed along with a service ceiling of 43,000 feet. Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) is about 10,000lb.

Internally, the HondaJet seats a crew of one of two (side-by-side). The cockpit showcases clean lines thanks to three large-area, full-color touchscreen displays as part of the Garmin 3000 avionics fit and each pilot's position is given a control yoke and relatively good views out-of-the-cockpit. The standard passenger arrangement set as two face-to-face seats along a center aisle. An alternate seat arrangement seats a total of six. In either guise, passengers are contained in a luxurious environment complete with high-backed leather seats.

While only a dozen or so HondaJets have been completed to date (2016), the product will surely raise some eyebrows and market interest for the clientele and corporations that can afford the $4.5 million dollar passenger-hauler. The Honda Greensboro manufacturing facilities are set up to support up to twelve in-production forms simultaneously.

Program Updates



March 2018 - Production of the HondaJet continues with 68 total units having been delivered thus far.

April 2018 - ANA Holdings of Japan is set to use the HondaJet for passenger hub connections.

May 2018 - At EBACE 2018, Honda has unveiled the HondaJet Elite, an upgraded version of its up-and-coming HondaJet VLB/VIP passenger hauler. It is promoted with a range increase of some 17% compared to the original offering.

August 2018 - It was announced that the first example of a HondaJet Elite aircraft has been delivered to an unknown customer on August 3rd, 2018.

December 2018 - The HA-420 HonjaJet Elite has received its type certification from the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB), clearing it for operation in Japanese airspace.

May 2019 - Production of HondaJet Elite aircraft is set to be increased by as much as a quarter of the current rate as the company seeks to start fulfilling global orders.






Armament



None.

Variants / Models



• HA-420 "HondaJet" - Base Series Name
• HA-420 "HonjaJet Elite" - Upgraded form offering an increase of 17% in operational range.
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