Honda HA-420 HondaJet

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HA-420 HondaJet
HondaJet Ryabtsev.jpg
HondaJet in flight at Oshkosh in 2011
Role Business jet
National origin Japan
United States
Manufacturer Honda Aircraft Company[1]
First flight 3 December 2003
Status FAA certification expected 2015
Primary user Honda
Number built 6: four flight test and two structural test aircraft


Unit cost
US$4.5 million [2]

The Honda HA-420 HondaJet is the first general aviation aircraft developed by the Honda Aircraft Company.


Honda began to study small sized business jets in the late 1980s, using engines from other manufacturers. The Honda MH02 was fabricated and assembled at Mississippi State University's Raspet Flight Research Laboratory in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The MH02 was a prototype using composites with an organic matrix.[clarification needed][3]

The HondaJet made its maiden flight in December 2003. It debuted to the public at the EAA AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in July 2005. On July 25, 2006, Honda returned to Oshkosh to announce it would commercialize the HondaJet. Honda established the Honda Aircraft Company to seek both type and production certification of the HondaJet. Production is to take place in the United States. The company began taking customer orders in the fall of 2006. The price was about US$3.65 million. The plan is to build 70 jets per year.

In August 2006 Honda and Piper Aircraft announced a partnership to market the HondaJet.[4]

In May 2010 major assembly of a type-conforming air-frame started. Components included the composite fuselage, metal wings, empennage, landing gear and over-the-wing-mounted engine pylons. Work was then in progress to integrate major systems, including electrical, hydraulic and environmental control. The first conforming engine was to be delivered in the third quarter of 2010 and be installed on the aircraft. Honda Aircraft planned to begin static testing of a conforming airframe in May 2010.[5]

The maiden flight of the first plane was scheduled for November 2010. Because of delays in some components, the flight actually took place on the 21st of December 2010.[6][7] FAA certification and delivery were repeatedly delayed,[8] including for a year because of engine susceptibility to ice damage.[9]

With the engine having achieved certification, the aircraft's certification is targeted to be in the first quarter of 2015.[10] First flight of the production model occurred in July 2014.[11]


Rear view of the aircraft, highlighting the podded engine configuration
Interior of the HondaJet
Garmin 3000 Avionics for the HA-420
HondaJet formation

Honda decided to go with an unusual over-the-wing podded engine configuration. This feature was developed on the innovative Vereinigte Flugtechnische Werke VFW-614 decades earlier. It allows for more space within the fuselage and reduces drag at high speeds. The fuselage itself is made from lightweight composite materials. The wings are made from structurally reinforced single sheets of aluminum.[6] The use of a single sheet allows for a smoother surface than more conventional methods. Design testing on wing shape and design were done on a T-33 Shooting Star, modified by AVTEL Services, Inc., and flight tested at the Mojave Airport.

Honda began developing its own small turbofan engine, the HF118, in 1999. This led to the HF120, developed with GE Aviation under the GE-Honda partnership. The HF120 was test-flown both on a Cessna Citation and a modified Boeing 727-100. The engine features a single fan, a two-stage compressor and a two-stage turbine.

Honda claims that the combination of lightweight materials, aerodynamics and efficient engines gives the HondaJet as much as 35% higher fuel efficiency than similar aircraft.

The aircraft is equipped with a touchscreen 3-display Garmin G3000[6] glass cockpit system (i.e. most of the cockpit readouts are presented on flat-panel displays).


The aircraft will be made at Piedmont Triad International Airport, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA. The plant for making the aircraft was started in 2007 and was completed in late 2011.[6][12] In July 2011 the Honda Company allowed members of the media to tour the facility, which was still under construction. At that time company representatives announced that certification was expected, and production of the airplane would begin late in 2012.[13]

In 2008 the Honda executives predicted that they would sell 70 planes per year.[14] In July 2011 they indicated their plan is to produce (and therefore sell) 70 to 100 planes per year.[15]

On October 29, 2012 Honda announced that the HondaJet was entering production.[16] Certification with the US Federal Aviation Administration is expected in 2015, with first deliveries soon after.[17]

Legal actions[edit]

HondaJet is the only aircraft which has been removed from the open-source FlightGear simulator, after in June 2014 Honda lawyers issued a takedown request in which they claimed that the use of the HondaJet model in the simulator infringes upon the Honda's trademarks.[18]

Specifications (HA-420 HondaJet)[edit]

Data from Honda Aircraft Company[19]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1-2 crew members
  • Capacity: 5 - 6 passengers (useful load 635 kg (1,400 lb))
  • Length: 12.99 m (42 ft 7 in)
  • Wingspan: 12.12 m (39 ft 9 in)
  • Height: 4.54 m (14 ft 11 in)
  • Max takeoff weight: 4,173 kg (9,200 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × GE Honda HF120 turbofan engines, 9.12 kN (2,050 lbf) thrust each (Bypass Ratio= 2.9)


  • Maximum speed: 778 km/h; 483 mph (420 kn) TAS
  • Cruise speed: 778 km/h; 483 mph (420 kn) TAS at FL300[19]
  • Range: 2,185 km (1,358 mi; 1,180 nmi) NBAA IFR (4 occupants)
  • Service ceiling: 13,106 m (42,999 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 20.27 m/s (3,990 ft/min)

Garmin G3000 glass cockpit

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "Two HondaJets Make Special Appearance at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2013Formation Flight Elevates First Public Debut of FAA-Conforming HondaJet | HondaJet - News". 2013-07-29. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  3. ^ "Raspet Flight Research Laboratory: History/Honda Jet". Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  4. ^[dead link]
  5. ^ Matt Thurber (2010-05-04). / "HondaJet Program Logs Another Delay". Retrieved 2010-06-03. 
  6. ^ a b c d Garvey, William. HondaJet flight testing is underway Aviation Week. Accessed: 9 January 2011.
  7. ^ "PHOTOs: HondaJet takes off on maiden flight". Flightglobal. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  8. ^ Chad Trautvetter (2010-06-01). "Delays Logged in HondaJet Program". Retrieved 2010-06-03. 
  9. ^ "Grounded Again: HondaJet delayed for engine redesign". AutoBlog. 2011-10-11. Retrieved 2011-12-19. 
  10. ^ "Honda Aircraft CEO Provides HondaJet Update". Flying Mag. 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  11. ^ Lavender, Chris. "Flight sends Hondajet into next phase" Times-News, Burlington, N.C. July 2014
  12. ^ "Honda Aircraft Company Updates HondaJet Program | HondaJet | News". 2009-04-30. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  13. ^ Stephen Pope, Honda on a Roll Flying, September 2011, p. 15
  14. ^ Inside Honda's brain, CNN Money, 7 March 2008
  15. ^ Flying
  16. ^ "Honda Aircraft Company begins HondaJet Production". 2012-10-29. Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  17. ^ "Delivery of first HondaJet expected in early 2015". News & Record. 20 December 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  18. ^ By Ernesto. "Honda Takes Down "Infringing" Jet From FlightGear". TorrentFreak. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  19. ^ a b "HondaJet Specifications — HondaJet". Retrieved 2012-11-07. 

External links[edit]