Honda unveiled this week the HondaJet Elite S, the biggest update its business jet has received since its launch in 2018.
The main improvements in the aircraft concern the extended range at 120 nm (222 km) and the increase in the maximum take-off weight by 200 pounds. According to the manufacturer, it is possible to carry more payload or an extra passenger.
Elite S also introduces new avionics such as the FAA Data Comm, which replaces voice messages by sending text for boarding clearance and en route services (available in some locations in the USA).
There is also the new ACARS system, which uses text messages to send and receive air traffic services, flight plans and weather reports.
Another feature is the ASAS (Advanced Steering Augmentation System) that reduces pilot workload and enhances safety for missions in specific weather conditions.
A curious Honda practice that resembles its car division is the offering of several color shades for the HondaJet including three new exterior paint schemes: Gunmetal, Luxe Gold and Deep Sea Blue.
Good market acceptance
Despite the long period of development and Honda being a newcomer to the aviation segment, the HondaJet has proved to be an aircraft appreciated by its customers.
In 2020, 31 business jets were delivered to customers worldwide, which raised the fleet to 170 aircraft in operation in February.
One of its most striking differences is the pylons of the engines on the wings, called “Over-The-Wing Engine Mount” configuration by the company, a solution that freed up space in the passenger cabin.
“Since its introduction in 2018, the HondaJet Elite has achieved the best performance in its class while also being the most efficient, and with the new Elite S, we take another step forward in expanding the aircraft’s capability,” said Honda Aircraft CEO Michimasa Fujino.