It’s taken eight years and many millions of dollars, but the first production HondaJet is just about ready for takeoff. Powered by cutting-edge GE Honda engines, the HondaJet is ready to begin its final phase of testing before going on sale the world over.
The first HondaJet actually made its maiden flight back in 2003, but it wasn’t until 2006 that they formed the Honda Aircraft Company and began to seriously undertake the project of commercializing a new-age jetliner. Honda uses an uncommon pod-over-wing engine design, which increases passenger compartment room and reduces high-speed drag. A single-piece aluminum wing setup allows for a smoother surface than conventional riveted wings, further reducing air resistance. Testing of the current model has been ongoing since 2011.
Efficiency is the name of the game for the Honda Jet, and that extends to the engines co-developed with GE. The HF120 turbofan is lighter and more efficient than comparable motors, while delivering similar amounts of thrust. Combined with lightweight materials and a more aerodynamic design, Honda claims as much as 35% better fuel efficiency than comparable jets.
The first HondaJets are slated to go on sale next year.