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HondaJet - unusual but efficient

Edward Green |
The HondaJet is an advanced business jet featuring an extra large cabin, high fuel efficiency, and high cruise speed.

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The small business jet that is more efficient in operation is expected to become more popular. Market surveys and focus-group interviews, conducted in the United States, show that demand for comfort, in particular, a large cabin, as well as high fuel efficiency are critical to the success of small business-jet development.

A unique configuration, called an over-the-wing engine-mount configuration, was developed to provide a larger space in the fuselage than conventional configurations. By mounting the engines on the wing, the carry-through structure required to mount the engines on the rear fuselage is eliminated, which allows the fuselage internal space to be maximized.

It was a technical challenge to employ an over-the-wing engine-mount configuration for a high-speed aircraft from both aerodynamic and aero elastic standpoints. Extensive analytical and experimental studies, however, show that an over-the-wing engine-mount configuration reduces the wave drag at high speeds and achieves higher cruise efficiency when the nacelles are located at the optimum position.

To reduce weight and manufacturing costs, an advanced composite structure is used for the fuselage, consisting of a combination of honeycomb sandwich structure and stiffened panels. The aircraft is powered by two Honda HF-118 fuel-efficient turbofan engines, each rated at 1670 lb thrust at takeoff power. The engine is controlled by the Full Authority Digital Engine Control system. The aircraft is 41.14 ft (12.5 m) long, has a wing span of 39.87 ft (12.2 m), and is 13.21 ft (4.1 m) high at the top of the T-tail.

Design maximum takeoff weight is about 9200 lb (4173 kg). The estimated maximum speed is about 420 km at 30,000 ft (9144m), and the maximum range is about 1100 n miles (2037 km). The aircraft provides a large cabin volume compared to those of other four-passenger seat arrangements. The cabin is pressurized up to 8.7 psi (60 kPa) to maintain an 8000-ft (243m) cabin altitude up to 44,000 ft (13411 m).

The aircraft employs all-glass flight deck, which is a modular design having open architecture. All information—from flight and engine instrumentation to navigation, communication, terrain and traffic data is uniquely integrated and digitally presented on the dual, large-format, high-resolution primary flight displays (PFD) and the multifunction display (MFD). ■

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