The HondaJet HA-420 private aircraft has already received American and European certifications
Honda is making its foray into the business jet market with this all-new HondaJet HA-420 aircraft. This lightweight jet has a range of 1,223 nautical miles – that’s Dubai to Mumbai in one hop. Importantly, it’s got a cruising altitude of up to 43,000 feet – higher than most commercial aeroplanes – allowing it to beat air traffic. It’s also one of the fastest jets in its category with a top speed of 422 knots or nearly 500mph. Apart from the pilot, it can carry seven passengers, including one lucky passenger who gets to ride shotgun and sit in the co-pilot’s seat.
One of the key engineering achievements of this jet can be found in the exterior where the engine sits on pylons above the wings, as opposed to other aircraft where the engines are usually connected to the fuselage. This construction allows the aircraft to be more aerodynamic by reducing drag. Also, much of the noise and vibration generated by the engines is absorbed by the wing rather than fed back to the cabin. Carbon fibre has been used to manufacture the fuselage of the aeroplane, while each wing is made from a single piece of aluminium.
The interiors of the jet are well-appointed and have plenty of leather and veneer, apart from foldaway tables that save on precious space in the cabin. Most of the in-flight infotainment systems like the temperature, audio, and lighting can be controlled via an app on your phone. For the businessman on the go, the jet also has a built-in WiFi capability.
The HF-120 engines, each of which reportedly creates 2,000 pounds of thrust, have been manufactured in association with GE. HondaJet is being manufactured at a facility in Greensboro, North Carolina which also houses its R&D centre, actual production assembly line and the customer service centre as well. At its full capacity, the factory will roll out up to eight jets a month.
This is the second-cheapest business jet after Cirrus Vision Jet. The HondaJet costs $5 million a pop and has already received European and American certifications. Honda is waiting on certification from China, expected later this year, which will likely become the single largest market for the jet outside of America. The agile, lightweight, fuel-efficient and relatively affordable HondaJet is evidently set to shake up the business jet market this year.