When people said it couldn’t be done, this was exactly the type of challenge that motivated Honda. It began with a design deemed impossible by the aeronautical thinking of the day: the two engines would be mounted not under, but over the wings – a design which dramatically improved performance and fuel efficiency by reducing aerodynamic drag at higher speeds. This design also reduced cabin noise, and allowed for the roomiest cabin and largest baggage capacity in its category as well as a fully serviceable toilet and hand basin area at the back, complete with doors for privacy – unique in jets of this size.
The upturned nose was apparently inspired by a Salvatore Ferragamo stiletto shoe and along with its elegant wings make the jet look like a bird about to take off. Although it was first sketched by designer Michimasa Fujino in 1997, the actual project was conceived back in the 1980s, and appropriately was one of the last conceptual projects signed off by the founder Soichiro Honda before his death in 1991.
Hailed as a breakthrough in aeronautics, the HondaJet is now the fastest, highest flying, quickest, most fuel efficient and spacious light jet in its class. It is 15% more fuel efficient, has 20% more space than comparable jets and a price-tag that’s less than the competition.
Since gaining its type certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in late 2015, the HondaJet has continued to prove itself as the most advanced jet in its category by achieving several aviation milestones, including receiving type certifications around the world, breaking 13 speed records, opening a new dealer facility in China and signing an agreement to deliver 16 HondaJets to French air taxi company Wi jet. During 2017, Honda Aircraft delivered 43 aircraft to customers in America, Europe and Asia. As customer demand increases, the company is steadily ramping up production, currently manufacturing the aircraft at a rate of four per month at its 133-plus acre world headquarters in North Carolina.
Described by Top Gear as the “world’s prettiest business jet”, by Business Insider as ‘an absolute game-changer”, and by Flying magazine as “not only stunning but also highly intelligent”, the future of this jet, which was 30 years in the making, is looking bright.
For more about the Honda Jet, see the official Honda Jet Website
*The Honda Jet is not available for sale in New Zealand