This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

October 25, 2006

Honda Takes Fuel Economy Sky High with New Light Jet

Photo of the HondaJet, a stubby, streamlined jet with a slightly downturned nose.

Honda expects to start producing the HondaJet in 2010.
Credit: Honda

Honda has begun selling its newest fuel-efficient vehicle at a much higher price than the rest of its lineup: a whopping $3.65 million. Although the HondaJet is not scheduled for production until 2010, the Honda Aircraft Company, Inc. set product specifications and started taking orders on October 17th for the advanced light jet, which will be able to cruise at 420 knots and fly 1,180 nautical miles on a tank of jet fuel. Thanks to fuel-efficient jet engines and an aerodynamic, lightweight design, the HondaJet is expected to achieve an increase in fuel efficiency of 30 to 35 percent compared to similar light jets. Honda plans to build the jet in the United States, gradually ramping up to a production speed of 70 jets per year. And like most fuel-efficient vehicles, it looks like there may be a waiting list: as of October 19th, after three days of sales, the company had already received more than 100 customer orders and deposits. See the HondaJet Web site and the Honda press releases on the HondaJet and its early sales.

The new HondaJet features the HF120 jet engine from GE Honda Aero Engines, a joint venture of Honda and the General Electric Company. The engine is also expected to boost the fuel economy of a new mid-size business jet from Spectrum Aerodynamics. Called the Spectrum Freedom S-40, the new jet will cruise at 435 knots and fly as far as 2,200 nautical miles while using "significantly less" fuel than comparable aircraft, according to Spectrum. The company achieves its fuel efficiency in part by using lightweight composite materials made of carbon fiber and epoxy. Like the HondaJet, the Spectrum Freedom S-40 is expected to be available in 2010. See the press releases from Honda and Spectrum (PDF 482 KB) and see the "Freedom" link on the Spectrum Web site. Download Adobe Reader.