Honda begins deliveries of HondaJet, its first light jet

Honda begins deliveries of Hon...
The HondaJet executive light aircraft
The HondaJet executive light aircraft
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The HondaJet executive light aircraft
The HondaJet executive light aircraft
HondaJets flying in formation
HondaJets flying in formation
HondaJet has a maximum cruising speed of 420 knots
HondaJet has a maximum cruising speed of 420 knots
HondaJet can seat up to six passengers, including crew
HondaJet can seat up to six passengers, including crew
View gallery - 4 images

Honda is officially shipping jets for the first time. The ceremonial first delivery of the HondaJet executive light jet was recently made at the world headquarters of Honda Aircraft Company in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The milestone came on December 23, two weeks after HondaJet received type certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration for a craft that Honda claims is the fastest (at 420 knots or 483 mph) and most efficient in its class. It also comes a little less than a year and half since we covered the jet's first test flight.

The company credits the HondaJet's performance and efficiency to its configuration, with engines mounted over "natural-laminar flow" wings and fuselage made from lightweight composite materials rather than aluminum. It says a "combination of co-cured integral structure and honeycomb sandwich structures [...] results in increased cabin space, better performance, and greater fuel efficiency."

Honda teamed with GE to make the HondaJet engines, which are each capable of 2,050 lbf of thrust uninstalled.

HondaJet can seat up to six passengers, including crew
HondaJet can seat up to six passengers, including crew

The jet itself measures 42.62 ft (12.99 m) long with a wingspan of 39.76 ft (12.12 m) and a height of 14.90 ft (4.54 m). Inside, it can be configured to seat up to five or six passengers with 17.80 x 5 ft (5.43 x 1.52 m) of interior space and 4.83 ft (1.47 m) of head room, making it taller and roomier than many competitors in the same class.

HondaJet is being manufactured in North Carolina, and Honda plans to target the lower end of the light jet market at first, offering the craft for sale to North America, South America and Europe through a dealer network, with pilot training already underway at its headquarters.

Credit: Honda Aircraft

View gallery - 4 images
Mark Thomas
Wonder how much they spent on marketing and focus groups to come up with that name?
Looks good. Hope they don't rust out like a typical Civic.
Bill Bennett
Interesting engine mounting location, could that cause more engine noise inside the cabin than an under the wing nacelle?
@BillBennett - According to Honda ( there's less noise.
Great little jet but does anyone else think it has too few windows (port holes really)? Love the engine placement for several reasons, including being out of the way of ground debris, sand etc. Can hardly wait to see one doing acrobatics in the next James Bond flick: out for a nice London to Ibiza vacation with the next Bond Girl and her dog, when Specter tries to shoot him down. After Bond pulls 7 G's and watches the wings of Specters plane fold up, he finally looks back into the cabin to see that the dog is wearing her sun dress and she has on nothing but the fur throw from the couch...
4.5 Million is a bit ridiculous for the "low end" of the business jet market.
I'll either buy one of these jets, or, a Dodge mini-van. Oh, wait, the mini-van can carry 7, plus it can go through most tunnels. Just sayn'
Window shape is much a matter of being a composite aircraft. All composite planes have rounded windows. Ever see Burt Rutan's planes?
Engine placement was for low sound and efficiency. Airflow directly into the engine rather than the close to fuselage where airflow is more disturbed
If the engine pylons were horizontal and fixed to the fuselage like the Lear or Cessna Citation jets then very few people would criticise the design. Fixing the pylons vertically on the wings has many advantages. Firstly as has been said by other contributors it reduces noise, drag and eliminates the "vacuum cleaner" effect of picking up trash from airstrips. A very big advantage is that the thrust of the engines is directly transmitted to the wings not via the fuselage which would need to be much more heavily braced to transmit the thrust to the wings. This makes the whole aircraft lighter and more spacious.
It looks like a really nice airplane, but the engines sound a little funny!