Flight Tests Begin for Honda Experimental Business Jet

12/16/2003 3:30:54 PM

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced today that the HondaJet, its new experimental compact business jet equipped with Honda-developed HF118 jet engines, successfully completed the initial flight test this month at Piedmont Triad Airport in North Carolina.

Compared with conventional jets, this experimental aircraft offers superior fuel efficiency and remarkable cabin space. The engines are optimally positioned on the upper surface of the main wing in a unique configuration that reduces drag at high speed and increases cruising efficiency. This layout also eliminates the need for structural engine mounts in the fuselage, creating over 30% more cabin space than in a conventional aircraft.

The fuselage is a compact and lightweight unified carbon composite structure, yet realizes the largest cabin in its class. The main wing, which features aluminum skin panels chiseled from single sheets of aluminum that provide a smoother surface than conventional wing configurations, along with Honda's proprietary turbulence-reducing laminar airfoil, work together to significantly improve aerodynamic performance. Additional drag-reducing technologies include the fuselage nose, which is designed to generate laminar flow. These features, in combination with Honda's fuel-efficient HF118 Turbofan Engine, provide fuel efficiency over 40% better than conventional aircraft.

This experimental aircraft is also outfitted with a state-of-the-art glass cockpit with an integrated avionics system, as well as an autopilot function, anti-icing equipment, and other systems. The jet is scheduled to undergo approximately 200 hours of flight-testing to demonstrate and verify the operability and performance characteristics of its various systems.

Honda began research into compact business jets in 1986, using engines provided by other manufacturers. The HF118 Turbofan Engine-equipped HondaJet experimental compact jet is the first Honda developed aircraft to be outfitted with a Honda engine, a milestone of significance for the company and the industry.

New Technologies Employed in the HondaJet:

Honda SMH-1 Natural Laminar Flow Wing Section

Honda's proprietary SMH-1 achieves low drag and excellent performance at high speeds despite its relative thickness.

Laminar Flow Nose Section

The optimal design of the fuselage nose generates a laminar flow that reduces drag on the fuselage.

Over-the-Wing Engine-Mount

Optimal placement of the engine nacelles over the main wing improves aerodynamic performance at high speeds.

Co-cured Composite Fuselage

The co-cured composite and honeycomb sandwich structure combine to create a new composite structure that enables Honda to develop a lightweight fuselage with more interior space.

Aluminum Main Wing

The use of an integrally stiffened skin produces a smooth wing surface that promotes laminar flow.

Glass Cockpit

The aircraft is equipped with a state-of-the-art Garmin G1000 glass cockpit system. Information is efficiently presented on flat-panel flight displays.

Main Specifications

Provisional name



6 / 2crews + 4passengers or 1 + 5


Honda HF118 Turbofan Engine

Maximum take-off thrust (kgf (lbf))

757 (1,670) x 2

Maximum take-off weight (kgf (lbf))

4,173 (9,200)

Length_width_height (m (ft))

12.5_12.2_4.1 (41.1_39.9_13.2)

Maximum speed (km/hr (knots))

778 (420)

Service ceiling (m(ft))

12,497 (41,000)

Range (km (nm))

2,037 (1,100)

Fuel consumption (km/kg (nm/lb))

3.3 (0.8)

Take-off distance (m (ft))

807 (2,647)

Landing distance(m (ft))

694 (2,277)