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Honda Aircraft has announced that the newest addition to its HondaJet aircraft family, the HondaJet Elite II, received type certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Nov. 2.
Approval from the U.S. aviation regulatory authority came just over two weeks after Honda unveiled the Elite II jet at the 2022 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention and exhibition in mid-October. The Elite II is designed to fly farther and have an increased maximum takeoff weight compared to its predecessors — such as the Elite and Elite S models.
While Honda said it is not offering an Elite S to Elite II upgrade option, the company did recently announce an Elite to Elite S upgrade package.
FAA certification of the Elite II marks “a big step forward” in the program, a Honda spokesperson told Skies in an email. While the goal is for the Elite II to be available for sale globally, the company said certification efforts with other regulatory agencies, such as EASA and Transport Canada, “will be prioritized based on customer purchases and demands.”
During the Elite II unveiling at NBAA 2022, Honda shared that the production line is ready to roll out the first aircraft by the end of this year.
Powered by the GE Honda Aero Engines HF120, the Elite II has a maximum cruise speed of 422 KTAS; features additional space to carry more fuel, which translates to an expanded range of 1,547 nautical miles (four passengers); and has a maximum takeoff weight of 11,000 pounds.
In addition to being “the fastest, highest, and farthest flying aircraft in its class,” the Elite II will also feature optional automation technologies, including autothrottle and emergency autoland. Autothrottle, which reduces pilot workload through automatic power management, is to be introduced on the Elite II in the first half of 2023. Emergency autoland — which takes control of the aircraft and lands it in the event that the pilot is unable to fly — is being targeted for the second half of 2023.
Honda Aircraft CEO Hideto Yamasaki said the first delivery of the Elite II with the autothrottle and emergency autoland features is expected by the end of 2023.
The HondaJet Elite II, which features a fully redesigned cabin and a new “Black Edition” paint scheme, is priced at US$6.95 million.