The Honda HA-420 HondaJet is one of the most capable small private jets in the world. Also, it’s faster, quieter, and more luxurious than before.
The original HondaJet, which entered production in 2015, was the Japanese industrial giant’s 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 to match the designation given to the company’s luxury spec automobiles.
Updates include an extra fuel tank that boosts range to more than 1,650 miles from 1,400 miles, 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.
Business Insider recently had the opportunity to experience a flight aboard the company’s latest offering at Honda Aircraft’s home in Greensboro, North Carolina.
In case you’re wondering, the HondaJet Elite starts at $5.25 million, $350,000 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 designed to be lighter and stronger than traditional aluminum construction.
2. Nose design inspired by a pair of high heels: Fujino said the nose shape of the HondaJet was inspired by a pair of Ferragamo heels he spotted at a duty-free shop on vacation.
Here’s another view of the nose.
3. Single-pilot operation: The HondaJet is designed to be operated by only one pilot, opening it up to the market for owner-operators or people who fly personal private jets.
4. Modern cockpit: The HondaJet Elite has an updated version of the Garmin G3000 avionics suite found in the original variant. The cockpit features three 14.1-inch high-definition displays …
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 2,050 pounds of thrust.
6. Wing-mounted engines: Unlike those of most private jets, the HondaJet’s engines are mounted on over-wing pylons.
7. Nifty seats: The HondaJet’s main cabin seats four passengers in a club setup, on a floating ball-joint system.
8. Touchpad controller: The jet’s cabin tech can be operated using your smartphone or a built-in touchpad …
… that includes climate control and the sound system.
9. A speakerless stereo: The HondaJet does not use traditional speakers. Instead, its cabin is surrounded by a couple dozen transducers that vibrate in the plane’s leather-lined interior walls, so it feels as if the music is enveloping you.
11. Skylights: A pair of skylights are in the ceiling of the lavatory.
Look closely, and you can see the carbon weave of the fuselage.
12. A single fueling point.
It’s in the rear of the fuselage by the right engine.
13. Plentiful storage: The HondaJet Elite boasts a total of 66 cubic feet of cargo space, divided into …
a 57-cubic-foot trunk behind the passenger cabin and a 9-cubic-foot “frunk” in the nose.