EBACE Convention News

Honda Aircraft Debuts HondaJet Elite S

 - May 21, 2022, 11:00 AM
The camouflage-­style paint scheme underscores the HondaJet Elite S’s features, including new painting options, more range, added avionics capabilities, and cabin comfort features.

Honda Aircraft Company (Booth N61, Static AD9) arrives at EBACE 2022 riding recent developments such as the introductions of the updated HondaJet Elite S, HondaJet 2600 concept jet, and another annual crowning as the most-delivered aircraft in its class. The company delivered 37 of its distinctive over-the-wing-engine-mount-configured HondaJet HA420s last year, the most in the very light jet category for the fifth consecutive year.

Additional recent company milestones include delivery of the 200th HondaJet in December; surpassing 100,000 fleet flight hours in January; and receiving type certification last year from Thailand, the 14th country to approve the HA420. Honda Aircraft's sales and service footprint now spans Europe, North America, Latin America, Southeast Asia, China, the Middle East, India, Japan, and Russia.

The company also has a new president and director, Hideto Yamasaki, after former president Michimasa Fujino retired on March 31, having reached the company’s mandatory retirement age of 62. Fujino led the design and development of the HondaJet and launch of Honda Aircraft as a new business jet manufacturer, and Yamasaki is carrying on that legacy moving forward.

Making its EBACE debut, the HondaJet Elite S, introduced last May at the company’s first virtual product launch, includes a full-service galley, private lavatory with an optional belted seat, and an industry-first Bongiovi sound system. Additionally, the twinjet's mtow has been raised by 200 pounds, enough for an added 120 nm of range or an additional passenger during a typical mission, according to the U.S.-based manufacturer.

The HA420 is certified for single-pilot operation and often owner-flown, and these customers likely appreciate the Elite S’s human-machine interface technology and ergonomically designed cockpit. Its flight deck includes a customized Garmin G3000 avionics suite and FAA DataComm and ACARS have been added to replace traditional voice commands with text-based messaging. The aircraft's avionics are also complemented by the newly introduced advanced steering augmentation system.

Outside, the Elite S livery introduces new styling with exclusive paint schemes and new colors, among other customization options.

Meanwhile, Honda Aircraft continues to asses demand for the HondaJet 2600 concept airplane,” billed as “the next generation of business jet,” in October at NBAA-BACE. With a proposed range of 2,625 nm—hence the concept’s numerical designation—the 11-passenger aircraft would be the first light jet (mtow 17,500 pounds) capable of nonstop transcontinental flights in the U.S.

Among other distinguishing HondaJet 2600 Concept characteristics are class-leading cabin height and pressurization and service ceiling, with a cabin altitude of 6,363 feet at a max operating altitude of 47,000 feet. It would also incorporate additional electrification, including a brake-by-wire system, auto brakes, electric landing gear, flaps, and spoiler actuation.

No information about the choice of powerplant to propel the 2600 to its proposed 450-kt. high-speed cruise has yet been announced. However, GE Honda Aero Engines, which manufactures the 2,050-pound-thrust HF120 engine for the HA-420, has long maintained that the engine design could be part of a family with larger siblings.

As proposed, the aircraft would be available in three modular and highly customizable cabin configuration choices, with multiple seating options, a full-height galley, enclosed lavatory, and four cabin skylights.

The concept was introduced to assess demand for such a jet, and no decision on launching the jet program has been made, the company said at the design’s reveal. Still, the 2600 appears to be eagerly anticipated by Honda Aircraft customers and other light jet owners. Should the project proceed, the 2600 would be certified in the Part 23 commuter category and obtain single-pilot operational approval.