Honda Aircraft Company revealed last month “HondaJet Echelon” as the official name of its new light jet at 2023 National Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (NBAA-BACE). The name signifies the company’s visionary path for the next-generation business jet, elevating efficiency to new heights while also delivering premium comfort and convenience.
“The HondaJet Echelon was born to create a new category that transcends the travel experience on conventional light jets,” said Honda Aircraft Company President & CEO Hideto Yamasaki. “Expanding mobility skyward has been Honda’s long-lasting dream, and the HondaJet Echelon marks the exciting next chapter while showcasing a classic Honda story of a product that creates new value for people.”
HondaJet Echelon Technology and Capabilities
The HondaJet Echelon, previously introduced as the HondaJet 2600 Concept in 2021, sets a new paradigm by offering a mid-sized jet experience in the light jet category. The aircraft is designed to be the world’s first single-pilot light jet capable of nonstop transcontinental flight across the United States. This offering targets a reduction in operating costs and creates an owner experience previously unattainable. Furthermore, the design of the HondaJet Echelon incorporates electrification and automation of its systems, leading towards augmented pilot capabilities, reduced workload, and enhanced safety.
HondaJet Echelon Design Concept
The design concept of the HondaJet Echelon revolves around elevating travel efficiency in every aspect to fulfill missions and offer an experience typically reserved for larger aircraft. The aircraft is set to deliver unmatched fuel efficiency through aerodynamic innovations to outperform conventional light jets on typical missions by up to 20% and mid-sized jets by over 40%. As a premium addition to the HondaJet family, the HondaJet Echelon will also feature a holistic focus on the cabin experience encompassing space, comfort, and productivity.
HondaJet Echelon Program Progress
The development of the HondaJet Echelon is well underway having completed several key milestones:
1. Installation of the first structural test rig was completed Q4 2021.
2. Successful exit of conceptual design and completion of aircraft Preliminary Design Review (PDR).
3. The official power-on ceremony for the HondaJet Echelon’s Advanced Systems Integration Test Facility (ASITF) at the company’s Greensboro, NC (U.S.) world headquarters on August 30, 2023.
4. The detailed design of the aircraft is well underway, targeting an aircraft level Critical Design Review (CDR) summer 2024, with select long lead fabrication already in progress.
Production of the HondaJet Echelon will take place within the existing footprint of Honda Aircraft Company’s facility at its global headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina. Early build processes are scheduled to begin in 2024. The first flight is planned for 2026, followed by type certification anticipated in 2028.