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 Type Certificate[2]
Number built 5[3]
Unit cost
US$4.5 million [1]

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.[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 HondaJet first flew on 3 December 2003 at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA.[8] Honda approved commercial development of the HondaJet in 2004.[9] The HondaJet made its world debut on 28 July 2005, at EAA AirVenture (Oshkosh Airshow).[10] Honda announced on 25 July 2006 at Oshkosh Airshow that it would commercialize the HondaJet.[11]

The production aircraft are built at Piedmont Triad Airport. Construction of the factory began in 2007 and was completed in late 2011.[12][13] The first FAA-conforming[clarification needed] (built to Federal Aviation Administration rules) HondaJet achieved its first flight on 20 December 2010.[14] First flight of the production HondaJet occurred on 27 June 2014,[15][16][17] and the plane was flown and shown at Oshkosh Airshow on 28 July 2014.[18][19][20] Four HondaJets have testflown 2,500 hours as of 2015.[21]

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.[22] In May 2010, the projected certification date was late 2012.[23] The program was incrementally delayed several more times[24] before provisional then full type certification were achieved in 2015, a full five years after the initial promise date and just short of five years after first flight of the first FAA-conforming airplane.

HondaJet got "Provisional FAA Certification" in March 2015, enabling continued production[2][25][26] and demonstration flights, but not customer delivery.[27][28] The factory assembly line is at full capacity at 12 planes,[26] however 20 planes were in production by May 2015.[29]

With the engine factory having achieved certification in March 2015,[26][30] the aircraft's certification was targeted to be in the first quarter of 2015,[31][32] however that came on 8 December 2015.[33]

HondaJet toured Japan and Europe in 2015.[29]

The Honda Jet Debut came during the Motorworks Revival at the Monterey Jet Center, 13 August 2015 at Monterey Airport, in Monterey, California.[34]


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

Several engine-over-the-wing aircraft have been tested, for various reasons. The configuration was used on seaplanes such as Dornier Do X from 1929 and Beriev Be-200, and also used on the VFW-Fokker 614, a 44-seat German airliner, in the early 1970s. The VFW-614 was designed for eliminating ingestion problems and weight. Others include NASA's Quiet Short-Haul Research Aircraft around 1980 and Burt Rutan's 8-place businessjet Triumph in 1988.

The HondaJet’s over-the-wing engine mount configuration was designed to maximize cabin space,[5] and for achieving 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][35] Honda claims that the combination of lightweight materials, aerodynamics and efficient engines gives the HondaJet up to 20% better fuel efficiency than similar aircraft.[36]

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.[37] 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,[38] and production certification in 2015.[26][30]

The passenger area is 5.43 m (17.80 ft) long and has an enclosed toilet. The semi-round cabin is 12.1 ft long, 1.52 m (5.00 ft) wide, and 1.46 m (4.80 ft) high.[39][40]

The aircraft is equipped with a touchscreen 3-display Garmin G3000[12] glass cockpit system (i.e. most of the cockpit readouts are presented on flat-panel displays).

Fujino received the 2014 ICAS award for the design[41] as well as Aviation Industry Leader of the Year Award.[42]

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

The US Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that the airworthiness certificate for the HA-420 was approved on December 8, 2015.[43]


Data from Honda Aircraft Company[39][44]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 or 2
  • Capacity: 4-6
  • 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: 4,519 kg (9,963[44] lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × GE Honda HF120 turbofan, 9.12 kN (2,050 lbf) thrust each
  • Bypass ratio: 2.9


  • Maximum speed: 778 km/h; 483 mph (420 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 700 km/h; 435 mph (378 kn) [44]
  • Range: 1,869 km; 1,161 mi (1,009 nmi) seats full[44]
  • Ferry range: 2,409 km; 1,497 mi (1,301 nmi) [44]
  • Service ceiling: 13,106 m (43,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 20.27 m/s (3,990 ft/min)
  • Fuel consumption: 0.42 kg/km (1.5 lb/mi) [44]
  • Take-off distance: 3,120 feet (950 m)[44]
  • Landing distance: 2,500 feet (760 m)[44]
  • Fuel capacity: 2,300 pounds (1,000 kg)[45][46]
  • Cabin altitude: 8,000 feet (2,400 m) at 44,000 feet (13,000 m)[7]

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 "Honda’s HondaJet HA-420 Ready To Begin Deliveries In 2015"
  3. ^ "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. 
  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". Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  7. ^ a b c 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
  10. ^ “HondaJet makes world debut at EAA AirVenture.” Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  11. ^ “Honda Gives Green Light for HondaJet.” (14 November 2006). Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  12. ^ a b Garvey, William. HondaJet flight testing is underway Aviation Week. Accessed: 9 January 2011.
  13. ^ "Honda Aircraft Company Updates HondaJet Program | HondaJet | News". 2009-04-30. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  14. ^ Welsh, Jonathan. “New HondaJet Makes First Flight.” (22 December 2010). Retrieved 5 February 2015/
  15. ^ Lavender, Chris. Flight sends Hondajet into next phase Times-News, Burlington, N.C. July 2014
  16. ^ AW&ST, 7 July 2014, p. 11
  17. ^ “First Production HondaJet Takes Off.” Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  18. ^ “First Production HondaJet Makes Public Debut At AirVenture.” Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  19. ^ Whitfield, Bethany. "Production Conforming HondaJet Debuts at Oshkosh" Flying (magazine), 29 July 2014.
  20. ^ Reynolds, Ric. "HondaJet Makes Another Oshkosh First" Experimental Aircraft Association, 28 July 2014.
  21. ^ Kauh, Elaine (27 March 2015). "HondaJet Nears Final Type Certification". Aviation Publishing Group. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  22. ^ "HondaJet delays delivery of first light jet; opening of Albany operation also delayed - Albany Business Review". Albany Business Review. Retrieved 2016-02-05. 
  23. ^ "More Delays Logged in HondaJet Program". Aviation International News. Retrieved 2016-02-05. 
  24. ^ "HondaJet Certification Pushed Out to Late 2014". Aviation International News. Retrieved 2016-02-05. 
  25. ^ Thurber, Matt (27 March 2015). "HondaJet Receives Provisional FAA Certification". Aviation International News. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  26. ^ 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 
  27. ^ "Provisional Airworthiness Certification"
  28. ^ "Special Airworthiness Certificate, Provisional Category" FAA
  29. ^ a b Lynch, Kerry (18 May 2015). "HondaJet Debuts In Europe With Certification Close". Aviation International News. Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  30. ^ a b Trautvetter, Chad (18 March 2015). "GE Honda Wins FAA Production Certificate for HF120 Engine". Aviation International News. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  31. ^ "Honda Aircraft CEO Provides HondaJet Update". Flying Mag. 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  32. ^ Sarsfield, Kate (20 October 2014), "HondaJet on track for first quarter 2015 certification", Flightglobal (Reed Business Information), retrieved 20 October 2014 
  33. ^
  34. ^ Aug 2015|The HondaJet Makes its Grand Debut in Pebble Beach
  35. ^ Garrison, Peter. "Technicalities" page 83 Flying Magazine, December 2006
  36. ^ "Honda out to shake up market with first jet next year". Reuters. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  37. ^ "Approval testing continues for HF120 turbofan". Aviation International News. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  38. ^ "FAA Certifies GE Honda Aero Engines HF120 Turbofan". Aviation International News. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  39. ^ a b "HondaJet Specifications — HondaJet". Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  40. ^ "HondaJet brochure, Specifications" page 17. Size: 10MB
  41. ^ Trautvetter, Chad. "Aeronautical Sciences Council Recognizes Honda Aircraft Leader Fujino" AINonline, 11 September 2014. Accessed: 4 September 2014
  42. ^ "Honda Aircraft's Fujino given prestigious honour". 
  43. ^ "FAA awards type certification to HondaJet" December 9, 2015 FlightGlobal: Stephen Trimble
  44. ^ a b c d e f g h "Honda Jet Operating Costs" (PDF). Aircraft Cost Calculator. August 2014. 
  45. ^ Haines, Thomas B. "Behind the curtain" last page. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, August 2005. Size: 524kB. Archive
  46. ^ Behind the Curtain - AOPA Online
  47. ^ "Cessna Citation M2 Versus the World: Comparison Specs" Flying Magazine, 11 November 2013.

External links[edit]