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A Surprising Six Honda Business Jets Continues to Impress

You often think of the Japanese multinational conglomerate as the manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles. Honda is indeed the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer (reaching a production of 400 million by the end of 2019), the world’s largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines (producing more than 14 million each year), and the eighth largest automobile manufacturer in the world.

However, since 2016, Honda has been building a range of very impressive business jets. There are six, in particular, that Sentinel Aviation has identified as ‘worthy of note’.

1/ HondaJet Classic

Operational Range:  1,223 NM
Maximum Takeoff Weight:  10,600 lbs
Takeoff distance:  3,943 ft
Landing distance:  3,050 ft

The original HondaJet model, the HondaJet Classic, was the first to be delivered to the customer with the serial number 42000012. The original models had the subsequent serial number up to 42000125. Honda Aircraft Company offered several upgrades to the Classic model, including software, hardware, and performance characteristics.

The 1,223 NM-range Classic HondaJet is highly fuel-efficient at all phases of flight. The performance parameters, including cruise speed, cruising altitude, and rate of climb, are common to all HondaJet models. Even though the Classic model was introduced with standard cabin features, the manufacturer offers cabin upgrades, including side-facing seats, executive stowable tables, an aft cabin door, and an externally serviceable lavatory.

2/ HondaJet APMG

Increased Operational Range:  1,359 NM
Increased Maximum Takeoff Weight:  10,700 lbs
Shortened Takeoff distance:  3,491 ft

The HondaJet Advanced Performance Modification Group (APMG) was introduced as an upgrade package to all Classic models. The APMG model comes with performance and avionics upgrades, most of which were introduced with the HondaJet Elite model. The APMG model features improvements to the operational range and MTOW, and a shortened takeoff distance.

The Integrated TOLD calculations and Garmin Flight Stream 150 were initially only available with the Elite models or the APMG upgrade. Currently, the manufacturer offers these as a software upgrade for all Classic models, with or without the complete APMG package.

3/ HondaJet Elite

Increased Operational Range:  1,437 NM
Upgraded displays:  G3000 Display
Reduced cabin noise level:  Yes

The HondaJet Elite includes all the upgrades from the APMG package and additional performance upgrades. The manufacturer also upgrades the cabin with reduced noise levels, updated seats with dual-tone leather, belted lavatory, and more. Deliveries of the Elite began in August 2018; however, almost all Elite models are 2019 or newer.

The increased range is achieved by the additional fuel tank in the Elite model. Honda also upgraded the avionics with new displays, en route performance system, a weight and balance system, and an improved braking system. The new braking system can be retrofitted to all previous models.

4/ HondaJet Elite S

Increased Maximum Takeoff Weight:  10,900 lbs
Avionics improvement:  Yes
Enhanced nose wheel steering:  Yes

Both performance and avionics improvements were made in the Elite S model. Beginning with serial number XXXXX207, the Elite S is offered as an optional Service Bulletin (SB). The upgrade is available to customers directly through the Honda Aircraft Company or HondaJet Authorised Service Centres for approximately $125,000.

With the Elite S, the manufacturer offers many other upgrades through the Optional Service Bulletins. Those include the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Data Communication and the digital datalink system (ACARS). Most new customers prefer the Elite S model over older models due to the inclusion of the enhanced performance package.

5/ HondaJet Elite II

Characteristics Specifications
Increased Operational Range 1,547 NM
Increased Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW) 11,100 lbs

The latest model offered by Honda, The Elite II model is based on the enhancements of the Elite S, with various new features. The extra fuel capacity substantially increases the aircraft range to nearly 1,550 NM. Greater fuel capacity also increased the MTOW to 11,100 lbs, a nearly 2% increase from the previous model.

The Elite II cabin features several enhancements, including:

  • Onyx and steel-styled interior
  • Hardwood pattern flooring
  • White marble countertops
  • Swivel seats
  • An updated LED lighting system

6/ HondaJet Echelon

Sentinel Aviation reported on the Echelon a few months ago.

Increased Operational Range:  2,625 NM
Passenger capacity:  Up to 11
Cruise speed:  450 knots
Fuel efficiency improvements:  Up to 20%

Introduced in 2021 during the NBAA Conference, the Echelon is targeted for certification in 2028. The newest development in the HondaJet family is expected to have a significantly greater operational range while boasting up to 20% greater fuel efficiency.

According to the CEO of Honda Aircraft Company, Hideto Yamasaki,

“The HondaJet Echelon was born to create a new category that transcends the travel experience on conventional light jets. Expanding mobility skyward has been Honda’s long-lasting dream, and the HondaJet Echelon marks the exciting next chapter while showcasing a classic Honda story of a product that creates new value for people.”


Sentinel Aviation

Sentinel Aviation


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