Honda Reveals HondaJet 2600 Light Jet Concept
In the world of business aviation, where secrets are hard to keep, Honda successfully surprised attendees at NBAA-BACE by revealing the HondaJet 2600 concept–an all-new, long-range light jet with trans-continental capability.
Unveiling a full-size cabin mockup at the show, HondaJet designer and company founder Michimasa Fujino says the inspiration for the potential new family member emerged during work on the Elite–the enhanced HondaJet HA-420 variant. “We became aware of the need for a new kind of aircraft based upon a different market segment. The conditions in the business aviation industry have signaled the need for rapid cross-country travel and the ability to carry more passengers and payload. And the dire necessity of cutting carbon emissions.”
“In response, we developed the HondaJet 2600 concept,” says Fujino. The aircraft is designed to fly up to 2,625 nm with as many as 10 passengers and one crew–making it the longest-range single-pilot business aircraft in the world. “This concept will unlock an entire new frontier of possibilities, new destinations and an opportunity to reduce aviation's carbon footprint,” says Fujino, who adds the aircraft is designed to be 20% more fuel-efficient than comparable light jets and over 40% more efficient than other midsize competitors.
Derived directly from the baseline HondaJet, the new design incorporates the same overwing engine mounts, composite fuselage structure and natural laminar-flow wing features. However, the aircraft is stretched, with an overall length of 57.8 ft. compared to 42.6 ft., for the HA-420, and has a far bigger span of 56.7 ft.–around 16 ft. greater than the baseline jet. The high-aspect-ratio wing is designed to give the aircraft a maximum cruise altitude of 47,000 ft., and a takeoff distance of 3,300 ft., with a maximum takeoff weight of 17,500 lb.
The modular design cabin, with a pressure altitude of 6,360 ft., will be reconfigurable to accommodate eight, nine or 10 passengers and one or two pilots. The fuselage cross-section is more ovoid with a height of 62.5 in., providing additional headroom in the cabin.
“We are featuring more electrification and automation to make the flight easier, safer, and more enjoyable,” says Fujino. Citing an advanced steering augmentation system as an example, he adds that the system “helps the pilot to detect changes in aircraft yaw rate and provides directional assistance to nose wheel steering for increased stability and tracking. This increases handling quality, reduces pilot workload and enhances safety.”
Other features include autobrakes, a runway overrun awareness and altering system, autothrottle and electric spoilers, steering and brakes. The flight deck will be based on the Garmin G3000 avionics suite. “We are target targeting a high degree of commonality with seamless transition from the HondaJet Elite type rating to the HondaJet 2600,” says Fujino.
The all-important choice of engines has yet to be disclosed. It remains unclear if Honda’s long-standing collaboration with GE Aviation, which resulted in development of the HF120 turbofan for the HondaJet, may be extended to provide a more powerful engine for the new project, or whether another all-new engine solution will be sought. The timeline for development has also not yet been disclosed, although industry observers say the recent termination of Bombardier Learjet 75 Liberty program effectively creates a hole in the light jet market.
The guideline price for the new HondaJet is expected to be in the $10-12 million range.