I’m not an expert on airplanes but here’s one that caught my eye. Guess what? Honda doesn’t only manufacture nifty automobiles; they’re perfecting their very own aircraft – the Honda Jet. All right, I must admit I actually researched on this because Honda has engaged me to do this. If you were me, you would also jump at the opportunity to research for Honda also, right? 🙂
And just like their automobiles, not only are their aircrafts ultra-cool, sleek and smart, they pack a real punch under the hood too. Just check out this baby:
What’s so unique about this jet? Well, look closer at the images and you’ll find that its turbo engines are mounted on its wings, unlike conventional jets that fix their engines in the rear. According to their engineers, this minimizes shock wave and reduces drag, making the plane more fuel-efficient and fast.
The jet also features a Natural Laminar Flow (NLF) Wing and Nose, specially designed to decrease wind drag, which Honda claims will help to reduce fuselage drag by an estimated 10%.
And how powerful is this animal? The first fleet of Honda Jets, scheduled to be completed in 2011, will be mounted with the HF120 turbofan, an upgraded, souped-up version of its predecessor, the HF118 turbofan. The HF120, combining cutting-edge technology and superior materials, will enable the jet to reach a maximum cruise speed of 778km/hr or 483 mph or 420 knots – just a jumble of numbers, if you ask me. But to put things a little more into perspective, the jet travels faster than twice the maximum speed of the F1 Honda car (340 km/h) and the speed of a falcon nose-diving (298km/h).
Positioning of the turbofan over the wings also creates more interior space and cargo capacity, allowing the jet to comfortably seat 6 to 7 passengers. And its flight deck is equipped with an open architecture all-glass flat display.
Of course, an important question would be, how much can we trust Honda, well-known automobile manufacturer, no doubt, to come up with an aircraft that they claim is superior in efficiency and performance, compared to others? Well, they’re not exactly new to the aircraft industry. Apparently, they’ve been researching on the jet since the 80’s, which started off as an experimental project for a research program.
Later on, they developed their own HF118 turbofan jet and successfully sent their first plane airborne in 2003. Wanting to get into the commercial market, Honda collaborated with GE Aviation to develop their next generation of superior engine – the HF120 turbojet.
Sales of the Honda Jets began in 2006 and are projecting to make their first customer delivery in 2011. The jets are priced at a cool US$3.9million. Anyone interested?