We flew on Honda's new R75 million private jet. Here are its coolest features.
- The HondaJet Elite is an updated version of the Honda HA-420 HondaJet that debuted back in 2015.
- The Elite was launched in 2018 and is now the only version of the HondaJet in production.
- The HondaJet Elite boasts increased range, a quieter cabin, an available galley, and a host of other tweaks.
- The HondaJet Elite starts at R70 million, R5 million more than the original HondaJet.
The Honda HA-420 HondaJet is one of the most capable small private jets in the world.
The original HondaJet, which entered production back in 2015, was the Japanese industrial giant's first foray into the world of aviation as a manufacturer. It was also the culmination of three decades worth of research and development work led by Honda Aircraft Company CEO Michimasa Fujino.
In 2018, Honda introduced an updated version of the plane called the HondaJet Elite. The name matches with the designation given to the company's luxury spec automobiles.
Updates include the addition of an extra fuel tank that boosts range from 2,250km miles to more than 2,700km, a quieter cabin, and an available galley.
The Elite was initially sold alongside the original HondaJet but has now taken over as the only version of the plane in production.
Recently, Business Insider had the opportunity to experience a flight on board the company's latest offering at Honda Aircraft's home in Greensboro, North Carolina.
In case you are wondering, the HondaJet Elite starts at R70 million, R5 million more than the original HondaJet.
Here's a closer look at the HondaJet Elite's coolest features.
1. Carbon composite airframe: The cabin is made of a carbon fiber epoxy composite that is designed to be lighter and stronger than traditional aluminum construction.
2. Nose design inspired by a pair of women's high heels: According Honda Aircraft CEO Fujino, the nose shape of the HondaJet was inspired by a pair of Ferragamo high heels he spotted at a duty-free shop while on vacation.
Here's another view of the nose.
3. Single pilot operation: The HondaJet is designed to be operated by only one pilot. This opens up HondaJet the market for owner-operators or people who fly their own private jets.
4. Modern cockpit: The HondaJet Elite is equipped with an updated version of the Garmin G3000 avionics suite found in the original variant. The cockpit features three 36cm high definition displays along with...
... A pair of 14cm touchscreens.
There's also push-button start for the engines.
5. Custom engines: The HondaJet is powered by a pair of GE Honda HF120 turbofan engines that each produce 908kg of thrust.
It is currently the only jet in the world produced with this engine.
6. Wing mounted engines: Unlike most private jets, the HondaJet's engines are mounted on over-wing pylons.
According to Honda, this design contributes to a roomier and quieter cabin.
7. Nifty seats: The HondaJet's main cabin seats four passengers in a club setup. The seats sit on a floating ball-joint system.
As a result, the seats can move forward, backward, and to the side.
8. Touchpad controller: the jet's cabin tech can be operated using your smartphone or by accessing a built-in touchpad.
The features include the climate control and...
... The sound system.
9. A speaker-less stereo: the HondaJet does not use traditional speakers. Instead, its cabin is surrounded by a couple of dozen transducers that vibrate inside the plane's leather-lined interior walls. As a result, the music feels like it envelopes you.
10. Private lavatory: There is a private lavatory in an enclosed compartment located at the rear of the passenger cabin.
Flip down the toilet seat cover and the toilet is converted to another place for a passenger to sit. There's even a seatbelt.
In front of the toilet is a cobalt washbasin.
11. Skylights: There are a pair of skylights located in the ceiling of the lavatory.
Looking closely and you can see the carbon weave of the fuselage.
12. Single fueling point: The HondaJet has a single fueling point.
It's located in the rear of the fuselage by the right engine.
13. Plentiful storage: The HondaJet Elite boasts a total 20 cubic meter of car space divided into...
... a 17 cubic meter trunk immediately aft of the passenger cabin and...
... a three cubic meter frunk in the nose.