Honda is about start delivering its 'sports car' private jet

HondaJet Wikimedia CommonsInnovative engine and wing design.

One of the more exciting things to happen in the private-jet world lately is the arrival of the HondaJet, from the Japanese automaker’s planemaking arm.

It’s been decades in the making and is aimed at what Honda considers to be a growth opportunity in private aviation: companies that need a small executive aircraft that’s economical to purchase and operate, an alternative to buying or leasing a bigger aircraft or going the fractional ownership route.

Bloomberg’s Craig Trudell has the news on Honda’s most recent milestone, FAA certification for the 7-seater:

Honda Aircraft President Michimasa Fujino has called the jet a “flying sports car” or “flying Acura,” an indication of the company’s strategy to position planes and Formula One engines as sources of engineering credibility that lift the reputation of its vehicles in dealer showrooms. Fujino has said the company already has more than 100 orders for the jet.

Business Insider’s Benjamin Zhang has been covering the HondaJet’s march to market, noting earlier this year that “When it enters service, the $4.5 million North Carolina-produced HondaJet will compete in the very light jet segment of the market against already-established models, such as Embraer’s Phenom 100 and Cessna’s Citation Mustang.”

The HondaJet looks like nothing else in the private-jet business.

“It features one of the most unique engine layouts in civil aviation, with two GE Honda HF120 turbofans mounted on top of its wings,” Zhang wrote.

“This design eschews the conventional business jet layout that calls for engines to be mounted at the rear of the fuselage. By dispersing much of the engine’s noise away from the fuselage, the jet will save passengers from suffering the same ear-shattering din as those unfortunate enough to be seated in the last few rows of other rear-engined aircraft.”

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