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The HondaJet Makes its Grand Debut in Pebble Beach

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 8/13/2015 Scott Evans

The long-awaited HondaJet made its North American public debut at Gordon McCall's Motorworks Revival at the Monterey Jet Center Wednesday night. Honda's first-ever private jet goes into service this year after a long but trouble-free gestation.

Research

HondaJet HA 420© Provided by MotorTrend HondaJet HA 420 The $4.5 million business jet can be flown by a crew of one or two and carry up to six passengers depending on configuration. In a typical four-passenger configuration, the seats are arranged with two on each side of the plane facing one another with a center aisle. You'll probably have to duck on the way in or out, as the cabin is less than five feet tall inside. Thankfully, all your stuff can ride in the back, where there's a 57 cubic-foot cargo hold accessed from behind the left engine.

Powering the jet are two turbofan engines co-developed with GE. Each puts out 2,050 pounds of thrust and gives the jet a maximum cruising speed of 420 knots, or 483 mph. The unique over-wing engine mounting was used to maximize interior volume for people and cargo, giving the jet more space than its competitors. It also reduces drag, increasing fuel efficiency and speed.

HondaJet HA 420© Provided by MotorTrend HondaJet HA 420 With relatively short 4,000-foot take-off and 3,000-foot landing distances, it should be able to operate out of just about any local airport. Its short 40-foot wingspan should make parking a breeze. With four people on board, Honda Aircraft Company estimates the HA-420, as it's known internally, has a range of 1,180 nautical miles and a maximum ceiling of 43,000 feet.

Honda first began researching jets back in the 1980s, but didn't finalize a design until the late '90s. The first prototype debuted in 2003, but Honda didn't announce it would put the jet into production until 2006. The first flight of the production jet occurred just last year and achieved FAA certification this year. Honda is already taking orders and the first jets are now being delivered. HondaJet HA 420© Provided by MotorTrend HondaJet HA 420

HondaJet HA 420© Provided by MotorTrend HondaJet HA 420
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