After 25 years of quiet development, the Japanese company Honda has released its first HondaJet, an authentic revolution in the light aircraft sector.
By Federico Tibytt
Honda is known worldwide for its motorcycles and cars, but the Japanese brand is much more than that. The company is a complex global conglomerate that also manufactures marine engines and generators. Now, in its most recent project, which took 25 years of development, the famous brand has launched its first light aircraft: the HondaJet.
This small wonder is one of the biggest news of the aviation industry in recent years, since it offers unprecedented design, technology and performance. For example, the HondaJet is the first to have its engines on the wing line. Project manager Michimasa Fujino introduced this technological innovation. He had envisioned a new design that would improve the aerodynamic profile of the craft. In addition, the wingtips bend upwards to reduce friction and noise during flight. Read more here about private jets.
The most unusual and peculiar part of this story is that the secret was extremely well guarded by Honda for more than two decades. The Japanese firm sent Fujino to America in the 1980s with a secret mission: to learn how to build an airplane from start to finish, but he was not allowed to disclose his findings to anyone outside of the development team. The Honda family, who after 25 years of work came out with a genuinely revolutionary product, considered this plan a secret project.
GE and Honda developed the engines for the HondaJet with the intention of achieving more fuel efficiency and greater power, speed and altitude. The result allows 483 mph top speed, a maximum altitude of 43,000 feet and fuel consumption 17 percent less than any of its direct competitors. Despite its size and speed capabilities, the HondaJet has an excellent range of 1,357 miles.
We should pay particular attention to the aircraft's weight, which comes in at 10 percent less than any of its competitors. Its lightness derives from a fuselage made of carbon fiber, reinforced plastic, and 15 percent aluminum. It can accommodate up to four passengers, plus a pilot and copilot.
The interior of the HondaJet shows a simple and modern design with advanced technology, such as a smart application available for installation on any mobile device, which allows the control of lights, curtains and interior temperature.
With a market price of about $4.5 million, the HondaJet is scheduled for delivery in early 2015. So far there are more than 100 orders and the company expects to have about 55 units ready by then ■
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