Thirteen years after introducing a new light business jet design at EAA AirVenture in 2005, Honda Aircraft brought the latest version of its HondaJet—the HondaJet Elite—to the 2018 show.
The Elite is making its U.S. public debut at AirVenture, a fitting location for the introduction, according to Honda Aircraft president and CEO Michimasa Fujino. “We always think Oshkosh is the origin of the HondaJet,” he said, adding that the “enthusiastic support and overwhelming response at Oshkosh helped us to [make the decision] to commercialize the HondaJet.” The Elite was introduced at the EBACE show in Geneva in May.
The first Elite will be delivered to its buyer in August. Elite and original HondaJets are now sharing the production line, but eventually, all new HondaJets will be in the Elite configuration.
Elite improvements include performance, cabin, and flight deck upgrades. Additional fuel capacity and aerodynamic improvements mean the Elite needs less runway for takeoff and NBAA IFR range with four passengers is now 1,437 nm, up 17 percent from 1,223 nm.
Maximum takeoff weight is up 100 pounds, but some weight-shaving measures carved about 107 pounds from the empty weight, for a more than 200-pound payload increase.
The fuel neck was redesigned to make it easier to insert the fuel nozzle, and a light at the filler warns the fueler when the tank is nearing the full mark.