Honda's Jet Is Delayed

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Honda’s jet was supposed to be commercially available in 2012, and then in 2013, but it will be another wait of another year. The FAA certification of Honda’s small business jet is delayed until late next year, “due to a minor issue in the certification procedure, which has since been resolved,” says Reuters.

“There was a minor issue in the process of the engine approval, but the fundamental design of the jet is not being swayed by this,” Honda spokesman Shigeki Endo told Reuters.

Like Boeing’s grounded (and recently released) 787 Dreamliner, the HondaJet also uses a lithium-ion battery in its jet, but the delay in approval has nothing to do with its battery system, Endo said.

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  • Tjh8402 Tjh8402 on May 21, 2013

    @ gearhead 77: how many of those Phenoms are operated by charter or fractionals? Both Phenom 100 and 300 have become the darlings of many of the larger fleet buyers. That isn't to say that they are not nice or good airplanes, because they are (among bizjets, being tagged a fleet queen doesn't have near the same negative connotation as with cars), but that can exaggerate the sales numbers dramatically. The Mitsubishi Diamond Jet/Beechjet 400a/Hawker 400XP and Cessna Citation XL are also extremely popular with the fleet operators. If you remove those, I'm not sure how the sale numbers would stack up. The Premier was never a big seller but like its bigger Hawker 4000 brother, it was a pretty ambitious project for Hawker Beech, and as we now see since both planes are discontinued and no longer supported, a bit too much for that company to handle. The Citation Mustang seems to sell pretty well, but to my knowledge, none of the big US fleet operators have picked them up. @wumpus - This plane fits in a category that sees a mix of both owner pilots and owners who hire professional pilots. The jet is designed to be flown by a single person. if you wanted to be truly reckless, technically the only license I think you'll need in addition to a standard private pilot license to fly a Hondajet is a multi engine rating, which you could actually train for in the aircraft. There have been people who have transitioned directly from single engine pistons to multi engined jets but their learning curve is steep. Realistically, you'll want an instrument rating (since you'll never be able to use the jets performance without it), your multi engine rating, and plenty of sim time. You will also be asked to have a copilot for a certain number of hours before they let you fly it single pilot. Most of this is not necessarily required by the FAA, but by insurance companies. I once knew a pilot who took off in his CJ single pilot even though his insurance wouldn't cover him. His reasoning was, if he crashed the plane, it wouldn't matter if he had insurance or not at that point. @Pete Zaitcev - sorry for being nit picky, but fyi depending on how you want to define "crossing oceans", you'll need a bit more than 3000nm to comfortably get from New England to Europe both ways without stopping. Eastbound is relatively easily, but westbound the headwinds will likely necessitate a fuel stop if your plane doesn't hit at least 3300-3400nm. Even then, that's not anywhere near what these planes are capable of. I can think of at least 15 purpose built (ie not based on an airliner) bizjets currently available that exceed transatlantic range, with the current king of the hill, the $65million Gulfstream G650 able to fly 7000nm at .85 mach, 6000nm at .9 mach, and 5000 nm at its MMO of .925 mach. Among jets, the Hondajet is one of the smallest you can buy, although its 425kt speed is faster than anything else in its class, which are all below 400 kts (and as slow as 340 in the aforementioned Citation Mustang), and rivals the several categories larger Cessna Citation CJ3. It's hard to call an airplane the (inset car name here) of planes or vice versa because one big difference between cars and airplanes is that planes generally, but not always, get faster as they get bigger, especially within an individual manufacturers lineup.

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    • Pete Zaitcev Pete Zaitcev on May 21, 2013

      G650 is way outside of what we're talking in relation to supercars. It's more like a superyacht. "The rich" form a pyramid of wealth that tapers just as sharply as the one for me and you.

  • Suspekt Suspekt on May 21, 2013

    Surely Honda must be the envy of the automotive world with respect to this bold venture. I would venture to say that Toyota is the only other automotive brand that could harness the engineering gusto to pull this venture off. Its an interesting topic. While VW is off building million dollar Veyrons, Honda is demonstrating pure engineering excellence. What has the greater Halo effect? Would you fly in a jet designed, engineered, and built by: - Volkswagen - Ford - GM - Jaguar.. lol... that is just plain cruel

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    • Stuki Stuki on May 25, 2013

      All it takes is money. To hire and fund the engineers, buy the testing equipment etc., etc. It's not like the same guys build the Civic and the Jet. In America, this style of conglomerates just haven't been fashionable for some time. Instead, companies are supposed to focus on "Core Expertise."

  • Daiheadjai Daiheadjai on May 21, 2013

    Yes, but does it have VTEC?

  • Dlfcohn Dlfcohn on May 21, 2013

    When Honda started this project they made a big point of declaring that they were not just building an airplane but a whole new way of building airplanes, one that took account of a lot of the efficiencies learned in the auto-trade. If they have stuck to this plan it is understandable that the initial model will take longer to produce than planned. This is because they don't want to just get the plane right but the whole system right. If anything the system is more important than the first model. Remember the first Honda cars to hit North American shores? Not great cars, but because they (and Toyota too) had a better manufacturing system, they relentlessly ground everyone else into the mud as their products improved and they moved up from category to category. If you are a traditional plane maker in the general aviation market, you should be very worried about your future.

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    • Art  Vandelay Art Vandelay on May 21, 2013

      @Summicron And Honda isn't exactly at its zenith at the moment.