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
Introduction January 2016
Status Active, In production
Produced 2012–present
Number built 57 (May 2017)[2]
Unit cost
US$4.5 million (as of May 2015)[3]

The Honda HA-420 HondaJet is the first aircraft developed by Honda Aircraft Company. The light business jet was designed in Japan and then developed and manufactured in Greensboro, North Carolina in the United States.[4]


Honda began to study small sized business jets in the late 1980s, using engines from other manufacturers. The Honda SHM-1/MH01 turboprop tested laminar flow wings,[5] and 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 carbon fiber/epoxy composite materials and was the first all-composite light business jet to fly.[6] Flight testing on the MH02 continued through 1996, after which the aircraft was shipped to Japan.

Designer Michimasa Fujino sketched the HondaJet in 1997, and the concept was locked in 1999. Testing in the Boeing windtunnel indicated a valid concept in 1999.[5][7]

A proof-of-concept (but not production-ready) version of the HondaJet first flew on 3 December 2003 at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, United States.[8] Honda approved commercial development of the HondaJet in 2004.[9] The HondaJet made its world debut on 28 July 2005, at the annual EAA AirVenture Oshkosh airshow.[10] Honda announced on 25 July 2006 at that year's Airventure that it would commercialize the HondaJet.[11]

The first FAA-conforming (built to Federal Aviation Administration rules) HondaJet achieved its first flight on 20 December 2010.[12] The first flight of the first production HondaJet occurred on 27 June 2014,[13][14][15] and it was displayed at that year's AirVenture on 28 July.[16][17][18] Four HondaJets had test-flown 2,500 hours as of 2015.[19]

The HA-420 aircraft program itself was plagued by delays. The initial planned certification date was "Late 2010", but in Spring 2009 was delayed by a year.[20] In May 2010, the projected certification date was late 2012.[21] The program was incrementally delayed several more times.[22]

The HondaJet was awarded "Provisional FAA Certification" in March 2015, enabling continued production[23][24][25] and demonstration flights, but not customer delivery.[26][27] The aircraft received its FAA type certificate in December 2015.[28][29] A HondaJet toured Japan and Europe in 2015,[30] and the type received European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification in May 2016.[31]


HondaJet formation

The production aircraft are built at Piedmont Triad Airport. Construction of the factory began in 2007 and was completed in late 2011.[32][33] In early 2015, there were twelve aircraft in final assembly and five more in earlier stages of production.[25] Twenty aircraft were in production by May 2015. Honda estimated it would produce 40 aircraft in the first full year and up to 60 each year after that.[30] The engine factory achieved certification in March 2015.[25][34]

Honda delivered the first customer aircraft on December 23, 2015 at its world headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina[35] First delivery of a HondaJet to a European aircraft dealer took place in April 2016.[36] About 20 percent of the approximately 100 aircraft on order are destined for European customers.[36]

Honda plans to ramp up production to 80 units per year after March 2019. Sixteen aircraft were delivered in the first three quarters of 2016, reaching a 36 per year production rate.[37] In 2017, 15 were produced in the first quarter, and the annual target is between 55 and 60 aircraft.[2]


Rear view of the aircraft, highlighting the podded engine configuration

The HondaJet is a low-wing monoplane with a conventional structure; it has a mainly composite fuselage and an aluminium wing. The aircraft is powered by two GE Honda Aero Engines HF-120 turbofans mounted on pylons above the wing. It has a retractable tricycle landing gear with both single wheeled main and nose landing gear.

The HondaJet’s overwing engine mount configuration was designed to maximize cabin space,[5] and achieve lower wave drag at a high Mach number. The nose and wing are designed for laminar flow, and the main fuselage has a constant profile, making an eventual stretch easier. The combination of engine placement, wing and fuselage was achieved using computer simulations and wind tunnels.[7][38] Honda claims that the combination of lightweight materials, aerodynamics and efficient engines gives the HondaJet up to 20% better fuel efficiency than similar aircraft.[39]

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 on a Cessna Citation CJ1.[40] The engine features a single fan, a two-stage compressor and a two-stage turbine. The GE Honda HF120 received FAA type certification on 13 December 2013,[41] and production certification in 2015.[25][34]

Interior of the HondaJet

The passenger area is 5.43 m (17.80 ft) long and has an enclosed lavatory. The semi-round cabin is 3.69 m (12.1 ft) long, 1.52 m (5.00 ft) wide, and 1.46 m (4.80 ft) high.[42]

Garmin 3000 Avionics for the HA-420

The aircraft is equipped with a touchscreen 3-display Garmin G3000[32] glass cockpit system (i.e. most of the cockpit readouts are presented on flat-panel displays).

Fujino received the 2014 International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences award for the design[43] as well as an Aviation Industry Leader of the Year Award.[44]

In 2014, the aircraft was awarded a 'Best of What's New' title by Popular Science magazine.


Data from Aviation International News[45]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 or 2
  • Capacity: 4-6
  • Length: 13.0 m (42.6 ft)
  • Wingspan: 12.1 m (39.8 ft)
  • Height: 4.5 m (14.9 ft)
  • Empty weight: 3,267 kg (7,203 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 4,808 kg (10,600 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × GE Honda HF120 turbofan, 9.1 kN (2,050 lbf) thrust each
  • Bypass ratio: 2.9


  • Maximum speed: 782 km/h; 486 mph (422 kn) max cruise
  • Cruise speed: 682 km/h; 423 mph (368 kn) long range
  • Range: 2,234 km; 1,388 mi (1,206 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 13,000 m (43,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 20 m/s (4,000 ft/min)
  • Fuel consumption: 0.41 kg/km (1.46 lb/mi)
  • Take-off distance: 3,934 feet (1,199 m)
  • Landing distance: 3,047 feet (929 m)
  • Fuel capacity: 2,850 pounds (1,290 kg)
  • Cabin altitude: 8,000 feet (2,400 m)

See also[edit]

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


  1. ^ Aviation Week & Space Technology, First Flight for Production HondaJet, 7 July 2014, p. 11
  2. ^ a b Kerry Reals (22 May 2017). "HondaJet global sales drive ramps up with SE Asia entry". Flight Global. 
  3. ^ "Business Jets Specification and Performance Data" (PDF). Business & Commercial Aviation. Aviation Week. May 2015. 
  4. ^ "Greensboro-made HondaJet debuts at Wisconsin airshow". News & Record. July 28, 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c Warwick, Graham. "Opening doors" Flight International, 9–15 January 2007.
  6. ^ "Raspet Flight Research Laboratory: History/Honda Jet". Archived from the original on 2003-09-07. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  7. ^ a b Fujino, Michimasa. "Design and Development of the HondaJet" Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 42, No. 3, May–June 2005. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  8. ^ “Driven to Succeed.” Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  9. ^ Matoon, Jeff. "The world of HondaJet" page 5. PilotMag, May/June 2012
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  11. ^ “Honda Gives Green Light for HondaJet.” (14 November 2006). Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  12. ^ Welsh, Jonathan. “New HondaJet Makes First Flight.” (22 December 2010). Retrieved 5 February 2015/
  13. ^ Lavender, Chris. Flight sends Hondajet into next phase Times-News, Burlington, N.C. July 2014
  14. ^ AW&ST, 7 July 2014, p. 11
  15. ^ “First Production HondaJet Takes Off.” Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  16. ^ “First Production HondaJet Makes Public Debut At AirVenture.” Retrieved 27 January 2015.
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  18. ^ Reynolds, Ric. "HondaJet Makes Another Oshkosh First" Experimental Aircraft Association, 28 July 2014.
  19. ^ Kauh, Elaine (27 March 2015). "HondaJet Nears Final Type Certification". Aviation Publishing Group. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  20. ^ "HondaJet delays delivery of first light jet; opening of Albany operation also delayed - Albany Business Review". Albany Business Review. Retrieved 2016-02-05. 
  21. ^ "More Delays Logged in HondaJet Program". Aviation International News. Retrieved 2016-02-05. 
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  23. ^ "Honda’s HondaJet HA-420 Ready To Begin Deliveries In 2015"
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  25. ^ a b c d e Trimble, Stephen (27 March 2015), "HondaJet gains provisional type certificate, deliveries near", Flightglobal, Reed Business Information, retrieved 29 March 2015 
  26. ^ "Provisional Airworthiness Certification"
  27. ^ "Special Airworthiness Certificate, Provisional Category" FAA
  28. ^ "FAA awards type certification to HondaJet" December 9, 2015 FlightGlobal: Stephen Trimble
  29. ^ "TYPE CERTIFICATE DATA SHEET NO. A00018AT Revision 0" (PDF). FAA. December 8, 2015. 
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  35. ^
  36. ^ a b Namowitz, Dan (11 July 2016). "HONDA GAINS FAA PRODUCTION CERTIFICATE". AOPA. Retrieved 18 July 2016. 
  37. ^ Chad Trautvetter (November 14, 2016). "HondaJet Production To Reach 80 Annually by March 2019". Aviation International News. 
  38. ^ Garrison, Peter. "Technicalities" page 83 Flying Magazine, December 2006
  39. ^ "Honda out to shake up market with first jet next year". Reuters. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  40. ^ "Approval testing continues for HF120 turbofan". Aviation International News. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  41. ^ "FAA Certifies GE Honda Aero Engines HF120 Turbofan". Aviation International News. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  42. ^ "HondaJet brochure, Specifications" page 17. Size: 10MB
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  44. ^ "Honda Aircraft's Fujino given prestigious honour". 
  45. ^ Matt thurber (4 July 2016). "Pilot Report" (PDF). Aviation International News. 
  46. ^ "Cessna Citation M2 Versus the World: Comparison Specs" Flying Magazine, 11 November 2013.

External links[edit]