Honda Aircraft unveiled a new version of its light jet Sunday evening at EBACE 2018, the HondaJet Elite. More than just a cosmetic upgrade, the Elite expands the light jet’s performance envelope while adding interior improvements and significant updates to the Garmin G3000-based flight deck.
While the amended type certificate for the HondaJet Elite was issued by the FAA on May 2 and it is also EASA certified, Honda Aircraft engineers have been working on the improvements since the jet first achieved certification in December 2015, according to company president and CEO Michimasa Fujino.
“The HondaJet Elite represents Honda Aircraft’s continued commitment to performance, efficiency, and environment creating new value in business aviation,” he said. “The result of innovation, design, and engineering, our new aircraft features several performance and comfort enhancements that, once again, set a new standard in aviation. We are excited to share Honda Aircraft’s latest technological feat with the world at EBACE.”
Thanks to additional fuel capacity and aerodynamic improvements that include removal of vortex generators on the empennage and winglet leading edges and a slightly wider elevator, the HondaJet needs less runway for takeoff and can fly farther. NBAA IFR range with four passengers is now 1,437 nm, up 17 percent from 1,223 nm.
Maximum takeoff weight is up 100 pounds, but some weight-shaving measures carved about 100 pounds from the empty weight, for a 200-pound payload increase. The additional fuel amounts to 16 gallons, achieved by redesigning the aft fuselage fuel tank to fill some unused space in the aft fuselage.
Next to the fuel filler, a lighted push switch has been added, and when pushed before fueling begins, it warns the fueler to slow the flow rate when the fuel is close to filling the aft tank. This avoids spillage, because at that point the fuel flow must be slowed for the tank to fill properly without overflowing.
Interior and exterior noise have been lowered significantly with a unique design feature, a perforated honeycomb-sandwich engine inlet engineered to cut fan blade passage noise.
Improvements to the G3000 flight deck include faster display processors, performance planning for all phases of flight and takeoff/landing distance computation for runway length, V-speeds, climb/approach gradient, and more.
The autopilot now offers stability and protection with roll and angle-of-attack functions and coupled go-arounds with underspeed protection.
Buyers have new interior options such as a Bongiovi audio system with speakerless transducer-based immersive audio; a belted lavatory seat; galley with coffee brewer; and two-tone executive leather seats.
On the outside, new “premier signature” paint options are available, in colors that deliver greater depth using a new three-layer paint process. The colors are Ice Blue, Ruby Red, and Monarch Orange.
EBACE visitors can try out the new Bongiovi audio system at the Honda Aircraft booth (O71), where a cabin experience setup mimics the sounds of flying while playing music through the cabin-mounted transducers. The HondaJet Elite, in Ice Blue livery, is on display at SD20. First deliveries of the Elite will take place this fall.