Honda HA-420

Honda HA-420. Credit: /Sergey Ryabtsev

The Honda HA-420 HondaJet is the first light business jet developed by Honda Aircraft Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Honda Motor Company. This aircraft was designed in Japan and then manufactured in Greensboro, North Carolina in the United States.

The company started commercial development of the HondaJet in the year 2004 a proof-of-concept (not production-ready) version of the aircraft had first flown on the 3rd December 2003. The commercial production of HA-420 has started in the year 2015 and has certified for commercial flights in the U.S., Mexico, European Union, Canada and Brazil by the respective aviation authorities.

The Honda Aircraft Company is currently delivering one plane per week to its customers. If you book the one now, then you have to be in the queue may be up to early 2019. Honda HA-420 has a range of around 1,400 miles with four passengers on board and two crew members. Also, has an alternative configuration of 2 crew and 5 passengers if the customer demands. It is powered by two GE Honda Aero Engines, HF120 turbofans which are mounted on a tower like structure above the wings. It can cruise at 422 ktas (approx 486 mph) and 30,000 feet altitude with a capacity to climb up to 43,000 feet. Take-off distance is less than 4000 feet and for landing is less than 3000 feet.

Honda HA-420

Honda HA-420. Credit: CC/Waerfelu

The jet is as advanced as any other light jet in its class but Honda has stuck to physical control system rather than fly-by-wire technology. The cockpit is equipped with fully integrated Garmin G3000 avionics (is the first ever, touchscreen glass integrated avionics system designed for light turbine aircraft), in addition to it HA-420 has wi-fi and a touch screen cabin control system.

In the passenger cabin, the seats feature an innovative floating ball joint system which allows them to be infinitely adjustable. With relatively large windows, (as compared to the size of the cabin) the HondaJet gives open and airy atmosphere. One has to accept, it is not as quiet as the bigger and more expensive jets like Embraer Legacy 500 (being a turboprop aircraft), but it is peaceful enough to have a conversation on board without the need to raise your voice.

Honda HA-420

Honda HA-420. Credit: CC/Marc Lacoste

As of August 2017, the company has delivered total 53 jets so far to its customers, out of which 24 in the first six months of the year 2017. The company further plans to ramp up its production to 80 units per annum by the year 2019. The base cost of HA-420 HondaJet is US$4.9 million.