Aircraft Overview: HondaJet
The HondaJet is a twin-engine business jet produced by Greensboro, North Carolina-based Honda Aircraft Co. that is based on the company’s HA-420 type.
An “experimental” HondaJet first flew on Dec. 3, 2003, with the HA-420 type receiving FAA approval on Dec. 8, 2015, and the first delivery taking place on Dec. 23, 2015.
Improved versions of the HondaJet were introduced in 2018 (HondaJet Elite), 2021 (HondaJet Elite S) and 2022 (HondaJet Elite II), while the HondaJet 2600 Concept—which, among its planned features, will have greater dimensions and a range that enables “transcontinental flight across the United States”—was announced on Oct. 12, 2021.
Based on the serial number, the HA-420 can accommodate as many as six or seven passengers, in addition to the one or two required pilots. Specifically, airframes in the Serial No. range 42000012 to 42000125—those marketed as the HondaJet—are limited to seven seats for the passengers and pilot(s).
Serial Nos. including and subsequent to 42000126 increase the number of possible seats to eight, a capacity that is applicable to the HondaJet Elite, Elite S and Elite II.
All current and past HA-420 commercial designations have an interior that measures 17.8 ft. in length, 5 ft. in width and 4.83 ft. in height, with that space in the HondaJet, HondaJet Elite and HondaJet Elite S supplemented by 66 ft.3 of baggage space (57 ft.3 in the aft compartment and 9 ft.3 in the nose compartment).
Although the interior and exterior dimensions of the HondaJet Elite II are the same as other HA-420-based airframes, its combined baggage space is reduced to 62 ft.3 (53 ft.3 in the aft compartment and 9 ft.3 in the nose compartment).
The interior dimensions of the HondaJet 2600 Concept are planned to increase to 25.38 ft. in length, 5.08 ft. in width and 5.21 ft. in height, while the 120 ft.3 of baggage space is nearly double the same specification on previous HondaJets.
Pilots operate all commercial designations of the HA-420 using avionics that are based on Garmin’s G3000 integrated flight deck, with that avionics system also planned to be included on the HondaJet 2600 Concept.
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Two GE Honda Aero Engines HF120-H1A turbofan engines power the HA-420, are located in an over-the-wing engine mount configuration and have an uninstalled thrust output of 2,050 lbf.
Mission and Performance
Regardless of the commercial designation of the airframe, the performance limitations of the HA-420 include a maximum operating altitude of 43,000 ft. and a maximum takeoff field elevation of 10,000 ft., as well as a maximum operating limit speed (VMO) of 270-kt. indicated airspeed (KIAS) and a maximum operating limit Mach (MMO) 0.72 Mach.
When carrying four occupants, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) instrument flight rules (IFR) range of the HondaJet is 1,223 nm, while the ranges of the HondaJet Elite/ Elite S and HondaJet Elite II—based on carrying four occupants and NBAA IFR reserves—are 1,437 nm and 1,547 nm, respectively.
The HondaJet 2600 Concept is expected to be capable of an increased range of 2,625 nm, assuming an airplane that is carrying four passengers, one crewmember and NBAA IFR reserves.
Although the HondaJet’s respective takeoff and landing distances are noted as being less than 4,000 ft. and less than 3,050 ft., more specific distances are published for the HondaJet Elite, Elite S and Elite II. Assuming the maximum takeoff weight (MTOW), the takeoff distance of the HondaJet Elite is 3,491 ft., a figure that the Elite S increases to 3,639 ft.
Comparatively, the takeoff distance of the HondaJet Elite II—based on the MTOW, International Standard Atmosphere (ISA) and sea-level altitude—is 3,699 ft. That airframe’s 2,717-ft. unfactored landing distance assumes NBAA IFR reserves and four people on board.
Despite the fact that the HondaJet 2600 Concept is expected to have an MTOW that is greater than any previous version of the HondaJet, it’s 3,300-ft. takeoff distance and 2,500-ft. landing distance—which are, respectively, based on the MTOW and maximum landing weight—will be reduced in comparison to prior HA-420-based airframes.
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