HondaJet achieves maximum speed in flight testing

HondaJet achieves maximum spee...
HondaJet has achieved a maximum speed of 425 KTAS at 30,000 ft (Photo: Honda)
HondaJet has achieved a maximum speed of 425 KTAS at 30,000 ft (Photo: Honda)
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HondaJet has achieved a maximum speed of 425 KTAS at 30,000 ft (Photo: Honda)
HondaJet has achieved a maximum speed of 425 KTAS at 30,000 ft (Photo: Honda)
The HondaJet tows an airspeed calibration cone during flight testing (Photo: Honda)
The HondaJet tows an airspeed calibration cone during flight testing (Photo: Honda)
HondaJet (Photo: Honda)
HondaJet (Photo: Honda)
HondaJet (Photo: Honda)
HondaJet (Photo: Honda)
HondaJet (Photo: Honda)
HondaJet (Photo: Honda)
HondaJet (Photo: Honda)
HondaJet (Photo: Honda)
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Honda's first light business jet has exceeded its projected top speed just three months on from its maiden flight. Michimasa Fujino first sketched the HondaJet with its distinctive over-the-wing engine-mount design in 1997. Almost 15 years later the journey towards production is almost complete with the latest milestone seeing the 5-seater aircraft hit 425 KTAS (that's "knots true airspeed") or 489 mph at 30,000 ft and a maximum Mach number of 0.72 above 30,000 ft – topping the 420 KTAS maximum cruising speed projected for the production model.

Due for delivery in 2012, the HondaJet is immediately recognizable for its over-the-wing engine-mount design. Honda says this configuration, combined with the aircraft's "Natural-Laminar Flow" airfoil and nose design reduces drag and ground-noise, improves fuel efficiency, keeps emissions low and out-performs clean-wing designs.

Power is provided by GE Honda HF 120 Turbofan engines producing 1880 lb of thrust each and inside there's executive seating for four plus a Honda-customized Garmin G3000 all-glass avionics system which includes three 14-inch landscape-format displays with dual touch-screen control.

"We are extremely pleased with the strong performance of the FAA-conforming HondaJet early in the flight test program," said Michimasa Fujino, Honda Aircraft Company President & CEO. "Our flight tests indicate the aircraft is handling and performing as expected, with excellent control harmony and stability. The HondaJet's unique over-the-wing engine-mount configuration and natural laminar-flow leading edge and fuselage nose designs significantly reduce drag and greatly contribute to such outstanding performance. In addition, the HondaJet's HF120 engines are exhibiting carefree handling of thrust and are supporting top-level performance and efficiency."

A second FAA-conforming aircraft is already complete and systems installation is underway on a third test aircraft which will be used for mechanical systems flight testing. A total of five test aircraft will be built.

HondaJet is soon expected to move into its new production facility in Greensboro, North Carolina, before ramping-up for production next year.

HondaJet in brief

  • Maximum Cruise Speed @ FL300: 420KTAS
  • Service Ceiling: FL 430
  • Rate of Climb: 3990 ft/min
  • IFR Range: 1180 nm
  • Take-off Distance: 3120 ft
  • Landing Distance: 2500 ft
  • Engines: GE HONDA / HF120, output -1880 lb/each
  • Dimensions: Height 13.21 ft (4.03 m), Length 41.70 ft (12.71 m), Span 39.87 ft (12.15 m)
  • Cabin dimensions: Height 4.83 ft (1.47m), Width 5.00 ft (1.52 m), Length 17.80 ft (5.43 m)
  • Payload: 2 crew + 5 passengers, baggage 66 cubic feet
View gallery - 6 images
Bill Bennett
ahh, something for \"the elite\" not for the common class most digusting Gizmag like you or I would ever ride in one of those, most distgusting
Sooooooo, I can\'t be inspired to have one of these some day? Why take that view point of just being for the \"elite?\"
Ok so I have no idea what is significant about this since I\'m not an \"aviation buff.\" Is it because it\'s a Honda product? Or is this a new achievement in the private jet area of things? Personally I like the look: like a Lotus Exige or Arial Atom, it\'s design is about corners and speed. But sadly, yes, just another toy for \"the elite.\"
If this plane runs like their cars and is as reliable and trouble-free: I say congratulations! For those in the program with people back home in Japan,it must feel like a Phoenix from the ashes, a symbol of hope and perseverance.
It is a major thing to get a new aircraft type-certified because of FAA bureaucracy: especially something like this.
Aesthetically, the nose remains me of a dolphin.
Overall, a very progressive and graceful design. I say keep them coming,Gizmag.
All of us that work on or around aircraft want to see progress. Such articles are not only for potential customers- they are of great interest to those of us who work on,in or around aviation. Without progress in our field there will only be stagnation.
This is real- here&now, not some CGI fantasy. It is real programs like this that pave the way for the fancier fantasy dream machines that litter the Internet and will never get beyond a video game format,if that.
This plane is entry-level and efficient for it\'s category. It is what emerging and growing interstate/international companies will be looking at.
This plane represents a lot of hard work and I say she\'s beautiful and is well-appreciated by those of us who know what it takes to see a project through.
Lear had the same vision- now it looks like it\'s their turn.

PS As for the small-minded critics who make up \"the common class\": you can watch while the rest of us continue to reach for the stars!
Mr. Griffin: Ferrari has been around since 1929... I still can\'t just go out and buy it with some pocket change or even 4 years worth of my net salary. It might be for the better of flight, but some things will always stay for the elite. It\'s just a common fact.
As for the naive people who make up
\"the moronic class\"
You can watch me live a happy and fulfilling life without thinking I\'m better than others, yet still keep a realistic view of life.
waterproof mp3
Honda is taking on the sky transportation as well. Well, the jet looks pretty awesome and fast. I wonder how much one of them jet plane cost?
Joe Clearman
Mr Bizzar: I\'m sure you had a good point, but my desire to comprehend collapses as soon as I hear a blatantly incorrect statement. Ferrari, Porsche, & Lamborghini all began car production post WW2. If you go to Wikipedia to get numbers at least read the whole article.
It\'s by far the most beautiful Honda I\'ve ever seen.
You don\'t have to be a plane expert to see how this plane design is better than most. By displacing the engines above the wings the thrust needed to move the aircraft is significantly lowered. It is sort of like skimming across the water on a jetski.
The wings create a pocket of almost dragfree air above them which reduces the engines drag on the air making them much more efficient, have less exertion on them making them work less which makes them last more making their maintenance much less too.
It\'s a great design. Also from previous articles the cabin height inside the fuselage is much higher making for a more comfortable ride inside.
One for me please :)
Will it have the \"H\" badge, too?