Congrats to Honda for earning FAA Production Certification for their first aircraft, the HondaJet HA-420 light business jet.
I’ve been following the news of the HondaJet for over a decade as they progressed step-by-step towards certification.
The HA-420 is the most technologically advanced, fastest (420 knots) and efficient (by up to 20%) small business jet currently certified. Of interest to owner/operators, it may be flown single-pilot.
The price is $4.5 million, which Honda can finance.
The creation of the HondaJet is an epic story, starting with Honda’s founder dreaming of building an airplane several decades ago, and establishing design facilities 2 decades ago in the USA.
A jet engine, the GE Honda HF120, was also certified for this plane.
The total investment to certify both an airframe and an engine must have been staggering to get to this point. Only a multinational mfg. company with support from top executives like Honda can pull that off in peacetime.
Even so, aviation is a tough business to make money in, especially as a new entrant.
Japanese companies have a long history of interesting work in aerodynamics. Both the Battleship Yamato and Bullet Train used duck-bill shaped leading airfoils for significant drag reduction. The HondaJet developers likewise use laminar flow nose (see top photo) and wings, and winglets (see second photo.)
According to a review by a friend of Philip Greenspun, the airplane has some issues: interior noise in the passenger compartment is 6 DB too high, only 573 pounds of useful load with full fuel, and a 4000′ runway is needed. Also, a lot of pilot ergonomics that should have made it in, didn’t. Also, the high price is comparable to the the next class up, which are much roomier and have more comfortable useful loads.
yt: Kenny G Live at the HondaJet TC Event with Mr.Fujino,
HondaJet FAA Type Certification Celebration
avweb.com: HondaJet Wins FAA Certification
HondaJet Nominated for 2015 Collier Trophy
philip.greenspun.com: HondaJet Pilot Review
HondaJet Makes Chinese Debut at ABACE Show
HondaJet Flight Trial 2017 [Video]
Honda Aircraft Adds Canada to HondaJet Approvals
HondaJet Gets Brazilian Nod
HondaJet, Phenom 300 Spar for Top Light Jet Sales Title