How the HondaJet Works


HondaJet Engine
The result of 20 years of aviation research, HondaJet innovations include a patented over-the-wing engine-mount configuration, a natural-laminar flow (NLF) wing and fuselage nose and an advanced all-composite fuselage structure.
The result of 20 years of aviation research, HondaJet innovations include a patented over-the-wing engine-mount configuration, a natural-laminar flow (NLF) wing and fuselage nose and an advanced all-composite fuselage structure.
Courtesy of Honda Motor Co.

One of the most impressive engineering feats of the HondaJet is its over-the-wing engine design. While most planes have engines that are attached below the plane's wings, Honda's research team found that an engine mounted on top of the wing would actually decrease the amount of drag compared to traditional rear fuselage engine mount designs. Honda's engine placement also increases the size of the cabin area by removing support structures that are necessary in the traditional design.

Honda's engineering research team determined, through theoretical and real-world testing, the optimal location for an above-the-wing engine that would create a favorable aerodynamic interference and decrease the overall wind drag.

Yet the location of the engines is only one impressive aspect of the entire project. According to Honda, the engine has a high thrust-to-weight ratio, which allows for an "uncommonly high range and large payload." Each engine weighs less than 400 pounds and consumes less than .70 pounds of fuel per hour per pounds of force (lb/hr/lbf) [source: Honda]. This unit of measurement determines specific fuel consumption for planes. Honda says that its engine is lightweight and fuel-efficient when compared to other engines in its class.

The engine has been created with the help of General Electric and although its engineering specifications make it efficient and unique when compared to other business jets, it has also had some problems along the way.

During some ground engine testing in late 2011, Honda found that the engines created ice that caused some minor damage and loss of thrust. This setback pushed the commercial launch of the aircraft back to 2013. And while this might not sound like a very long delay, remember that the plane was first conceived and sketched back in 1997.

Regardless of the most recent postponement, Honda fully expects its jet to be a leading contender in the growing small jet market.

Looking for more information about the HondaJet? Follow the links below.

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Sources

  • Dodbele, S.S., van Dam, C.P. and Vijgen, P.M.H.W. "Design and Fuselage Shapes for Natural Laminar Flow." March 1986. (Oct. 27, 2011) http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19860014381_1986014381.pdf
  • George Mason University. "Airline Planning Process." (Oct. 27, 2011) http://catsr.ite.gmu.edu/SYST660/Chap6_AirlinePlanning_Workbook.pdf
  • Honda. "All-Composite Fuselage." (Oct. 26, 2011) http://hondajet.honda.com/designinnovations/allcompositefuselage.aspx
  • Honda. "HF120 Turbofan Engine." (Oct. 26, 2011) http://hondajet.honda.com/designinnovations/turbofanengine.aspx
  • Honda. "HondaJet Brochure." (Oct. 26, 2011) http://hondajet.honda.com/pdf/HondaJet_Brochure.pdf
  • Honda. "HondaJet Interactive Timeline." (Oct. 26, 2011) http://hondajet.honda.com/hondajetstory/timeline.aspx
  • Honda. "HondaJet Specifications." (Oct. 26, 2011) http://hondajet.honda.com/specifications/index.aspx
  • Honda. "Natural-Laminar Flow Wing and Nose." (Oct. 26, 2011) http://hondajet.honda.com/designinnovations/naturallaminarflow.aspx
  • Honda. "Over-the-Wing Engine Mount Design." (Oct. 26, 2011) http://hondajet.honda.com/designinnovations/enginemountdesign.aspx
  • Michimasa Fujino and Yuichi Kawamura. "Wave-Drag Characteristics of an Over-the-Wing Nacelle Business Jet Configuration." Journal of Aircraft. November/December 2003. (Oct. 27, 2011) http://hondajet.honda.com/pdf/tech_papers/Journal_of_Aircraft_Vol40_No6_P1177_P1184_Wave_Drag_OTWEM.pdf
  • Ray, Susanna and Ohnsman, Alan. "HondaJet Stalls Again with Engine Delay to 2013 with Engine Redo." Bloomberg.com. Oct. 10, 2011. (Oct. 25, 2011) http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-10/honda-says-hondajet-delivery-delayed-by-about-a-year-to-2013-1-.html
  • Sabatini, Jeff. "Grounded Again: HondaJet delayed for engine redesign." Autoblog.com. Oct. 11, 2011. (Oct 24, 2011) http://www.autoblog.com/2011/10/11/grounded-again-hondajet-delayed-for-engine-redesign/
  • Stratos Jets. "Featured Charter Flight - Private Jet Charter Between New York and Los Angeles." (Oct. 27, 2011) http://www.stratosjets.com/featured-jet-charter/Jet-Charter-Rentals-Between-New-York-and-Los-Angeles

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