The Honda HA-420 is a twin-engine business jet designed and manufactured by US-based Honda Aircraft Company (HAC) to operate on domestic and international air routes. It is the first general aviation aircraft built by HAC.

The first production aircraft conducted first flight with GE Honda HF120 engines in June 2014.

Deliveries of Honda HA-420 began in December 2015 with the aircraft delivered to customers in the US, Mexico and Europe.

HondaJet obtained type certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in December 2015. The aircraft was granted type certification by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Mexico in March 2016.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certified the Honda HA-420 Business Jet in May 2016.

Design and development of the business jet

“The maiden flight of the first production HA-420 jet took place from Piedmont Triad International Airport in December 2010.”

The sleek and aerodynamic design of the HA-420 is claimed to accomplish 35% higher fuel efficiency than conventional business jets. An over-the-wing podded engine configuration of the aircraft reduces drag during flight and maximises cabin space.

HAC began research for a potential small size business jet in the early 1980s. The development of the first prototype, the MH02 Hondajet, began in the late 1980s and early 1990s at Mississippi State University’s Raspet Flight Research Laboratory.

Built with composite materials, the MH-02 took off on its first flight in December 2003. It was introduced to a global audience at the EAA Venture Air Show held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, US, in July 2005.

In July 2006, HAC decided to commercialise the Hondajet. The company began to take customer orders in 2006 worth $3.65m each. HAC and Piper Aircraft Company entered into a partnership to market the aircraft in August 2006.

Construction of a new production facility to build the Hondajet began in 2007 and was completed in 2011.

Assembly of the flexible airframe, fuselage, metal wings, empennage, landing gear and engine pylons began in May 2010. The maiden flight of the first HA-420 jet took place from Piedmont Triad International Airport in December 2010. In July 2011, HAC announced that it planned to produce 70 to 100 Hondajets a year.

Construction and flight deck of the HA-420 jet

The fuselage is made up of lightweight carbon composite or honeycomb sandwich materials to decrease the overall weight of the aircraft. The wings are built with reinforced single sheets of aluminium, which provide a smoother surface compared to the wings of conventional business jets.

The HA-420 features the first touchscreen controlled all-digital glass flight deck integrated with a Garmin G3000 avionics system.

The flight deck is equipped with two LCD compatible 14.1in primary flight displays and a central multifunctional display, two user-friendly infrared touchscreen control panels, autopilot function and anti-icing equipment. The Garmin SVT (synthetic vision technology) offers a virtual view of runways, terrains, traffic and obstacles.

Cabin and engines on board the twin-engine business jet

The spacious cabin of the HA-420 is 5.43m long, 1.52m wide and 1.47m high. The total baggage volume is 1.87m³.

“Honda HA-420 is a twin-engine business jet designed and manufactured by US-based Honda Aircraft Company (HAC).”

The cabin can accommodate five passengers and offers plenty of leg space. It features executive seating for four passengers along with a single seat divan in classic club configuration.

It is equipped with flexible leather club-style seats, fashionable cup holders, tray tables, electro-chromatic window shades and private aft lavatory.

The Honda HA-420 is powered by two GE Honda HF120 turbofan engines rated at 8.04kN of maximum thrust each. The engine is designed and developed by General Electric Honda Aero Engines at their plant in Burlington, North Carolina.

The HF-120 is equipped with a dual-controlled, ultra-compact full authority digital engine control system, single fan, two-stage compressor and two-stage turbine. The integration of modern reverse flow combustor and fuel nozzles in the engine reduce fuel consumption, ground detected noise and harmful emissions, such as NOx, CO and HC.

The engine is 1.1m long and 0.53m in diameter. Its dry weight is 181kg. The time between overhaul of the engine is 5,000 hours.

Performance of the HAC HA-420 jet

The HA-420 jet can climb at a rate of 20.27m/s. Its maximum speed is 778km/h. The range and service ceiling of the aircraft are 2,593km and 13,107m, respectively. The take-off distance is 950m and landing distance is 762m.