The Honda Jet concept started in 1997, with the maiden flight occurring on 3 December 2003. Outdoing the naysayers, and finding its own market niche amongst buyers, the model has been updated once again. So what do we get? Let’s find out.
Initially designed to fit into the VLJ (Very Light Jet) market, Honda went ahead and delivered over 250 aircraft to date. One of the features of VLJs was the single pilot/owner idea. In order for this to work, these aircraft would have low cockpit workload functions. Honda delivered on this in the first models and has continued to offer innovative solutions.
The Elite II is built around Garmin’s G3000 avionics system. The system has Autothrottle, which reduces pilot workload via the automation of power management through all phases of flight and also has Garmin’s Autoland system, which is used in emergencies, such as pilot blackouts, incapacitation etc. to autonomously control and land the aircraft without human intervention. Once activated, the aircraft will find the nearest airport and perform a full stop landing. “It will allow the aircraft to be operated with one pilot,” said Hideto Yamasaki, president and CEO of Honda Aircraft Company. “That is something that customers have been asking for.”
The unique over-the-wing engine mount (OTWEM) configuration, natural laminar flow (NLF) nose and wing, and composite fuselage, also makes the HondaJet a very attractive aircraft to buyers.
HondaJet’s newest model is not only its latest and greatest, but completes its successful HondaJet 420 series. “It is the fastest, highest and farthest flying aircraft in its class, with an expanded range of 1,547 nautical miles,” said Yamasaki. The extended range is bolstered by increased fuel capacity. The aircraft also has increased its maximum takeoff weight to 11,100 pounds, so it can carry more cargo.
The addition of ground spoilers completes the performance upgrades, optimising takeoff and landing field performance. “The HondaJet Elite II once again pushes the boundaries of its category on all fronts of performance, comfort, and style,” said Hideto Yamasaki. “We are also excited to take our aircraft forward on the journey of automation by bringing new technologies to the market.”
Outside, the Elite II was introduced in a bold new Black Edition paint scheme, with a red stripe that further differentiates the ramp appeal of the aircraft. This is an optional extra for those who like the bold stealth profile idea of the jet.
Inside it has a fully redesigned cabin, with two new interior options, Onyx and Steel, which add a “lux” look. The engineering team also did an acoustic upgrade to make the interior quieter.
In a nutshell, the new features include:
- Emergency Autoland
Garmin® Autoland activates in an emergency situation to autonomously control and land the aircraft without human intervention.
Autothrottle reduces pilot workload through the automation of power management based on desired flight characteristics through all phases of flight, allowing for more precise and efficient performance from the aircraft.
- Automated anti-Ice, lighting and pressurisation systems
Provide convenience and reduced workload for pilots.
- Automated ground spoilers
Enhances take-off and landing performance through the automatic deployment of spoilers upon landing or rejected take-off.
- Advanced Steering and augmentation system
ASAS helps the pilot by detecting changes in aircraft yaw rate and providing directional assistance to nose wheel steering for increased stability and tracking.
- Stabilised approach
Visual and aural alerting to the pilot if the aircraft is in an unstable approach to the airport by monitoring speed and location relative to the programmed approach.
Max. Cruise Speed – 422 KTAS
Max. Cruise Altitude – FL430
NBAA IFR Range – 1547 n/miles.
Baggage Space – 62 cubic ft.
These are the new styling options available for buyers:
- New “Black Edition”
- New Black Sable signature exterior paint schemes
- New corporate scheme design
- New interior options and other upgraded features
- New Interior colours
- Onyx: a rich and warm neutral greige cabin theme with mid-tone wood accents
- Steel: a modern light cool grey theme with high contrast marble accents
- New aisle flooring with a hardwood herringbone and plank patterns
- Acoustic Enhancement: nose to tail acoustic treatment for a tranquil cabin experience
- Sheepskin covers available for pilot seats
- Additional 3 inches of legroom configuration available for crew seat with extended seat track
- Interior multi-colour LED lighting with soft indigo night-time setting
- Ground illumination on the main entry door
- Integrated exterior lights
Well known movie stars like Tom Cruise use the HondaJet. So, if Maverick is happy, what other endorsement do we need?
HondaJets are now considered the best-selling Light-jet in private aviation. The HondaJet Elite II has a price tag of USD6.95 million.