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During the 2022 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention and exhibition, Honda Aircraft unveiled its new HondaJet Elite II aircraft, which will fly farther and have an increased maximum takeoff weight compared to its predecessors.
Powered by the GE Honda Aero Engines HF120, the Elite II 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. These features, combined with the aircraft’s maximum cruise speed of 422 KTAS, make the Elite II “the fastest, highest, and farthest flying aircraft in its class,” the company said. New ground spoilers will also optimize takeoff and landing field performance.
Honda Aircraft CEO Hideto Yamasaki told reporters during a press conference that the Elite II will also feature optional automation technologies, including autothrottle and emergency autoland. Autothrottle, which will reduce pilot workload through automatic power management, is to be introduced in the first half of 2023. Honda is targeting emergency autoland — which takes control of the aircraft and lands it in the event that the pilot is unable to fly — for the second half of 2023.
Other technological innovations on the Elite II include Honda’s Over-The-Wing Engine Mount (OTWEM) configuration, Natural Laminar Flow (NLF) nose and wing, and composite fuselage. In the cockpit is the “Honda-customized” Garmin G3000 avionics suite, as well as a new stabilized approach feature that provides pilots with audio and visual alerts to keep the aircraft stable on approach. The Elite II was also designed to reduce fuel consumption by an average of 8,000 gallons per year.
In addition to featuring a fully redesigned cabin, with various design options, the Elite II has a new “Black Edition” paint scheme.
The company said it is expecting FAA certification of the Elite II “in the next couple of weeks,” and noted that the production line is ready to roll out the first aircraft by the end of this year. 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.
With a price of US$6.95 million, the first fully delivered Elite II is expected by the end of 2023, which would include the autothrottle and emergency autoland features.