Honda Motor delivered 43 of its aircraft, the HondaJet, to customers in 2017, twenty units more than the year before, to become the top-selling business jet and overtaking Cessna Aircraft. Cessna delivered only 39 Citation M2 jets in 2017. Honda cited a strong North American and European market for its success, having delivered half of the aircraft to individuals, and half to corporate clients.
The HondaJet HA-420 costs $4.9 million. That would put annual sales at about $210 million, based on List Price. Despite an overall slowdown in the business jet market around the world, demand for “very light” business jets like the HondaJet grew by 50% last year from the year before.
Very-light jets carry fewer than 10 people, including the pilot. In North America and Europe, they are mainly used to travel between cities and are primarily owned by wealthy individuals.
HondaJet was approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in 2015 and is manufactured in North Carolina because the U.S. is the world’s largest market for business jets.
Over-The-Wing Engine Mount
The breakthrough innovation by Honda after more than 20 years of development is the Over-The-Wing Engine Mount (OTWEM).
This unique configuration dramatically improves performance and fuel efficiency by reducing aerodynamic drag. The engine is placed in the aerodynamic sweet spot so it uses 15% less fuel than rivals such as the Embraer Phenom 100 and Citation M2.
Additionally, baggage capacity is larger than any light jet in its class, cabin room is increased and cabin noise is reduced.
By employing this unique technology, the HondaJet offers the best performance and comfort in its class. It makes space for a full-sized washroom, a first in its segment.
Natural Laminar Flow
Advancements in aerodynamics and Natural Laminar Flow (NLF) technology were applied to the main wing airfoil and fuselage nose shape of the HondaJet to reduce aerodynamic drag. This cutting-edge engineering innovation contributes to:
• High cruising speed
• Increased fuel efficiency
A global rise in fuel prices also helped sales. Unlike most aircraft makers, Honda makes its own engines, giving it up to 20% greater fuel efficiency than competitors’ models.
Honda Sky Dream
Honda founder, Soichiro Honda, had a lifelong dream to be in the aircraft business. Honda began developing jet engines in 1986 from scratch.
A young graduate called Michimasa Fujino started his career in Honda Motor’s automobile engineering department; keen to create a “flying sports car.” After three decades of design, development, testing and setbacks — the project was cancelled once — his project has come to fruition.
Fujino, now CEO of Honda Aircraft Company, is proud to handover each aircraft personally. “HondaJet is a kind of art piece for me and every single HondaJet is like a child for me,” he said. “I want to see the customer in person and if I can see the excitement of the customers, that motivates me. I know the faces of all of our current customers.”
The Garmin G3000 avionics and Flight Management Computer make for a reduced crew workload and comfortable cockpit, day or night.
Maximum Cruise Speed @ Fl300 422 KTAS
Maximum Cruise Altitude Fl430
Rate of Climb 3990 ft./min
NBAA IFR Range (4 Occupants) 1223 NM
Takeoff Distance 4000 ft.
Landing Distance 3050 ft.
Manufacturer/Model GE HONDA ⁄ HF120
Output (uninstalled Thrust) 2050 lbf ⁄ Each
Derated from 2095 lbf/Each
Bypass Ratio 2.9
Length 42.62 ft. (12.99 m)
Wing Span 39.76 ft. (12.12 m)
Height 14.90 ft. (4.54 m)
Typical Configuration 1 Crew + 5 Passengers (2 Crew + 4 Passengers)
Alternative Configuration 1 Crew + 6 Passengers (2 Crew + 5 Passengers)
External Baggage 66 cu ft.
- Comprehensive Standard Warranty covering Three Years or 1500 Flight Hours
- Complete Life Cycle Support anchored by Flight Ready Maintenance Service Program
- HondaJet Dealer Service Centers generally within 90 minutes flight time
After three decades of development, the long anticipated HondaJet HA-420 offers unprecedented performance, space and fuel efficiency in the light business jet segment. The flight range is the distance from Boston to Miami. The climb rate of nearly 4,000 feet per minute is amongst the fastest , if not the fastest, in its class.
Apart from the capital cost, the owner may be interested in running costs and here is where the HondaJet may play its trump card.
The total annual budget for flying a HondaJet for 200 hours per year is approximately $489,000 ($748,000 for flying 400 hours per year). The maximum speed of the Honda Jet is 423 mph, but with slower climb, cruise and descending speeds, it is more likely to average 338 mph which would give an average cost per mile around $7.22 for 200 hours per year. If you fly 400 hours per year, you can spread the total fixed costs over more flight hours, which reduces your cost per mile to $5.52.
On the other hand, if you care about a difference of $1.70 per mile, you should not be buying a private jet…..
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Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He is also a moderator on PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).