• Oct 20, 2006
Not exactly an auto, but Honda is one of the world's leading automakers so we thought you might be interested in hearing how its foray into aviation is going. Since we first mentioned this effort back in July, it seems things are going quite well, actually. At a convention in Orlando, Florida this week, Honda announced it has already written more than 100 orders for its $3.65 million HondaJet. Sales of its jet just began on October 17 so demand is obviously high, much higher than Honda had expected for three days of sales.

"We are extremely pleased with the early customer response to HondaJet. In addition to the strong demand we have experienced from individuals, we are negotiating with a number of fleet customers as well," said Michimasa Fujino, president & CEO of Honda Aircraft Co., Inc. "Due to this overwhelming response, we are now considering an increase in our production plan to meet the needs of our customers."

Honda Aircraft Company will produce the HondaJet at a facility in the United States, and has submitted its application for type certification of the HondaJet with the Federal Aviation Administration. The HondaJet uses a bunch of revolutionary new technologies, including the over-the-wing engine mount (OTWEM) configuration that allows increased room in the cabin and cargo hold, while reducing aerodynamic drag increasing performance and fuel efficiency. HondaJet should be good for a cruising speed of 420 knots with a range of up to 1180 nautical miles, all while returning 30-35 percent better fuel economy versus other jets of comparable performance. More information about HondaJet including complete specifications is available at www.hondajet.com.

[Source: The Auto Channel]


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  • 21 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Funny thing is that Ford back in the 1920s made the same effort with the Tri-Motor. Henry Ford's hope was to build the Model T of the air. It didn't work out that way, but it's funny to see Honda (the Ford of the twenty-first century) make an effort to build an aircraft.
      • 8 Years Ago
      nothing new under the sun, it seems -- there was a west german airliner in the mid-70s that used over-wing engines:

      http://www.vfw614.de/index2_e.html

      it was a commercial failure, though.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yeah I think my gonna hold out for the Type-S version with 520 knots.

      I wonder if they'll bring the Type-R version here, ever?
      • 8 Years Ago
      What makes the Hondajet so good in this industry is that most executive business jets start at $10 million, and that can go up to $50+ mil when you reach the current Gulfstream flagship (G550). [These numbers are base prices with standard interiors, if you customize the interior you can do enough to double the cost of the aircraft]. So it is under-cutting some its competitors. Granted some of these competing aircraft have far superior range and payload capability... but I remember reading somewhere that a large portion of owners of the GV-class aircraft averaged only 3 hours per flight. This is for a plane that can fly 8 hours or ~7000 nm on a single fuel load. If the majority of the flying you do is domestic, and you're not moving 15 people, and don't care about putting a water bed in your plane ;) , this is a lucrative alternative.

      What Mr. Oak said (#15) is dead on as well. NetJets is another company which charters or sells timeshares of bizjets. However, I sincerely doubt the costs of chartering a plane is cheaper. The cost of fuel and crew alone might dwarf the costs of those 1st class seats (for an internation flight at least).


      As a student of aerodynamics though, I'd like to see more information about how the "drag is reduced". The interior space is decresed because all of the internal structure used to mount the engines is moved from the fuselage to the wing (at the expense of fuel volume). But less drag? that has to do with a lot of factors... definitely the fuselage drag count went down... but the wing drag count would've increased at a comparable magnitude.

      Food for thought =)
      • 8 Years Ago
      Your partialy correct,the blue tech failed all but a few states.The diesel in the eu is still much cleaner than ours here in NA.The diesels there are designed to run on those composite diesels in the EU.Since the small diesel market here is very small those manufacturers i mentioned aren't spending all their R&D to generate a new engine just to run on our diesel.Mercedes has more at steak here, there the largest diesel makers in the world including Detroit Harper Allison,Freitliner,and Dodge....
      • 8 Years Ago
      GM should put the Cadillac crest(for example) and design theme on some of thier aerospace collaborations.Honda really seems like a cutting edge company on the move.This really increases the appeal of honda products from my perspective.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "I've never seen the OTWEM configuration before, definitely have to give credit were credit is due, very innovative design."

      It's not really innovative, Fokker was using that on a business jet back in the late 60s or 70s.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Honda's diesels will not be as good as the fore mentioned.That's what my point was,and a reliable diesel is one that gives you a 400K plus engine life.I Never said diesels in general were not reliable.
      • 8 Years Ago
      And one more thing,,the TDI will not be for sale in NA for 2007 not due to the engine.The TDI is accepted worldwide exept in the US,the Diesel fuel here has a high sulfure content,that is why it's hard for that engine to meet emitions.The europeans have no trouble with their emisions,their diesels from VW,MB.Peugot,Renault,BMW,,run overall with less green house gases that our Counterparts here.Their fuel is better refined,and they have "Greener" diesel mixtures at the Mass level.Shell is leading the way there.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Comment#1-3... Ya'll are just wrong!!! ;-)

      I've never seen the OTWEM configuration before, definitely have to give credit were credit is due, very innovative design.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Why would anyone buy this? This is not aimed at indiuviduals, although some will be sold to them, it is aimed at the very air taxi serices (like execujet) who demand a small, fast, effecient jet that can handle point to point travel to small, non-hub airports wiht short runways. That said, if I had the cash I'd buy one.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Auto companies have been trying Aviation for years..Chrysler had Gulfstream for a while - sold alot of planes - not profitable - sold it...Honda will stop soon too. Too much developement cost for the amount they will sell...starting off good, but how many people can affor a $3 mil plus airplane?
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