For a beginner’s guide to flying by private jet, most experts are likely to tell you to turn to industry stalwarts such as Learjet, Gulfstream or Bombardier. Few, it is safe to say, would think to make enquiries with Japanese car manufacturer Honda.
Better known for sturdy family cars and industrial machines, Honda has just unveiled it first foray into the luxury lifestyle sector with the HondaJet private aircraft. Able to carry a total of seven crew and passengers and with a price tag of $4.5 million, the HondaJet is classed as a very light jet and aims to make its mark with better fuel efficiency, higher cruising speeds and a more comfortable cabin that its competitors.
Developed in-house at Honda’s R&D Americas base in North Carolina, the HondaJet is crafted from an all-composite fuselage – rather than the aluminium-alloy commonly found on light jets – and incorporates a series of clever structural techniques to reduce weight and allow a cabin space with head height of 1.47 metres and naturally better fuel efficiency.
The result of this advanced building technology is a 13 metre private jet with a range of up to 1,180 nautical miles with a top speed of 489mph at 30,000 feet. This high-tech focus is also carried through to the cockpit where a cutting-edge Garmin G3000 avionics system offers pilots enhanced navigation, flight planning and control across dual touchscreen panels and three 14-inch high-resolution screens.
Aesthetically the HondaJet’s exterior presents a pleasingly sleek and compact aircraft available in a number of elegant colourways while the understated cream leather interior is luxurious and functional without being fussy. The product of over three decades of development, and the final realisation of founder Soichiro Honda who designed the company’s first logo as a wing in 1948, the HondaJet is certainly a superyacht private jet worth the investment.