HondaJet’s newest model is not only its latest and greatest, but completes its successful HondaJet 420 series. Honda Aircraft officials revealed the HondaJet Elite II yesterday at the National Business Aviation Association’s annual BACE event.
“It will be the fastest, highest and farthest flying aircraft in its class, with an expanded range of 1,547 nautical miles,” said Hideto Yamasaki, president and CEO of Honda Aircraft Company, while introducing the new latest jet.
Its black livery, with a red side stripe, gave it a stealth profile. It has a fully redesigned cabin, with two new interior options, Onyx and Steel, which add a luxe look. The engineering team also did an acoustic upgrade to make the interior quieter.
The extended range is bolstered by increased fuel capacity. The aircraft also has increased its maximum takeoff weight to 11,100 pounds, so it can carry more cargo over a longer distance.
But the real differentiator will be autonomy built around Garmin’s G3000 avionics system. The system will have Autothrottle, which reduces pilot workload via the automation of power management through all phases of flight, and it will also have Garmin’s Autoland system, which is used in emergencies—pilot blackouts—to autonomously control and land the aircraft without human intervention. Both features will be available on the aircraft next year.
“It will allow the aircraft to be operated with one pilot,” Yamasaki told Robb Report. “That is something that customers have been asking for.”
The HondaJet Elite II, which follows on the success of the HondaJet, HondaJet Elite and HondaJet Elite S, will also be the last model in its 420 series, said Yamasaki. The original concepts for the aircraft, with its innovative over-the-wing engines and composite fuselage, were first revealed in 1997. The HondaJet made its first test flight in 2003, and received its FAA type certificate in 2015. Honda officials said there are 250 HondaJets now in the air. It is considered the best-selling light jet in private aviation.
Honda’s next project will be the 2600, a concept it revealed last year at NBAA BACE with a full-size mockup. The cabin will have up to 11 sets, with a projected range of 2,625 nautical miles and, cruise speed of 450 knots. It would be the longest-range single-pilot business aircraft, while the HondaJet configuration would be stretched from the current 42.6 to 57.8 feet. Honda officials have not revealed a certification timeline for the 2600.
Yamasaki said expects FAA certification for the Elite II is “imminent,” and several aircraft are currently in the build process. It will have a price tag of US$6.95 million.