HondaJet Elite in flight
The newly unveiled HondaJet Elite boosts the performance of the twinjet.

Honda Aircraft Unveils HondaJet Elite

Honda Aircraft unveiled a new version of its light jet recently at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) 2018. The HondaJet Elite is more than just a cosmetic upgrade; it expands the light jet’s performance envelope while adding interior improvements and significant updates to the Garmin G3000–based flight deck.

While the the Federal Aviation Administration issued the amended type certificate for the HondaJet Elite on May 2 and it has also been certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency, 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.

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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 (National Business Aviation Association) IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) range with four passengers is now 1,437 nautical miles, up 17 percent from 1,223 nautical miles.

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.

 First deliveries of the Elite will take place this fall.