HondaJet receives provisional certification from FAA

After many years in development, the long-awaited HondaJet looks set to achieve its current aim of entry into service in 2015.

The Honda Aircraft Company announced last Friday that it has now received provisional type certification from the FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) for its revolutionary light jet. For a program that has been so long in the making, this is a key milestone – and one that many people have been waiting for.

HondaJet in flight

Image: Honda Aircraft Company

Provisional certification is a big tick in the box from the authorities, and a strong indicator that full certification is close at last. Honda say they will achieve that within 3 to 4 months. Find out more about the stages of development of a new private jet.

Honda Aircraft President and CEO Michimasa Fujino commented: “Honda Aircraft has completed nearly all of the testing and reports required by the FAA, and we are very close to achieving final type certification for the world’s most advanced light jet”.

What is the HondaJet?

Obviously better known as a car and motorbike manufacturer, Honda began to study business jet designs in the 1980s, building their own experimental aircraft, the Honda MH02.

The Japanese manufacturer developed this into the HA-420 HondaJet, with a proof-of-concept prototype launched in 2003 at the Piedmont Triad International Airshow in the USA, and the official launch announcement following at the Oshkosh Airshow in 2006.

There was a great deal of excitement about this ‘new generation’ light jet. A unique, clean-sheet design for a super-efficient small jet, to rival the market leaders in category, such as Cessna’s Citation Mustang and Embraer’s Phenom 100.

Unique over-the-wing engine design

The most notable and eye-catching feature of the HondaJet is the over-the-wing-mounted engines. These free up cabin space, which gives room for up to 6 passengers, in a cabin body size that would usually only allow 4.

Hondajet_interior

Image: Honda Aircraft Company

The engine positioning also reduce drag and allow dramatically improved fuel consumption. The aircraft also boasts innovative ‘natural laminar flow’ wings; a lightweight fuselage; and its own turbofan engine, the Honda HF120. Honda say these features combined will lead to a 25-30% improvement in fuel-efficiency, compared to its competitors.

This fuel efficiency and higher occupancy will mean a more cost-effective offering to the customer, at this crucial entry level end of the business aviation market.

The HondaJet HA-420 will allow flights of up to 3 hours at a maximum speed of 420 kts. It also has a separate lavatory onboard (not always the case with small jets).

When will the HondaJet be available for charter?

Aircraft production is well underway at Honda’s manufacturing headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina, in preparation for customer deliveries. 12 aircraft are at final assembly stage, and another 5 are currently in the production process. So once full FAA certification is achieved, these long-awaited aircraft will finally be delivered to their owners.

Honda expect this to be late in 2015, so we expect to see the first HondaJet becoming available to charter in 2016. We will be watching closely. The next few years promise an exciting shake-up in the light jet market.

Our Flight Team can advise on which current light jet is best for your flight. Contact us or call (24 hours) +44 1747 642 777.