Honda Aircraft Expands Upward into Light Jet Segment

Honda Aircraft Company is developing an all-new light jet, the HondaJet 2600 Concept.  The manufacturer expects the new aircraft to achieve type certification in 2028.  It will compete against similar light jets made by Cessna, Embraer, and Pilatus.

Honda says the 2600 Concept will be the first light jet capable of nonstop transcontinental flight across the United States. It will feature what the manufacturer calls a “quiet and spacious cabin suited for long-range travel.” While the jet will be able to accommodate up to 11 occupants, including crew, the typical seating plan displayed on Honda’s website shows a configuration for eight passengers with ample legroom and a small lavatory installed in the back of the cabin.  The cabin height will be over 5.2 feet (1.59 m), slightly higher than competing aircraft.

Honda’s initial performance specifications list a cruise speed of 450 knots and a range of 2,625 nautical miles with one pilot and four passengers aboard.  The aircraft will be capable of operation by a single pilot, making it attractive for owner-operators, who comprise a significant portion of light jet operators.

Honda claims the 2600 Concept will deliver up to 20 percent better fuel efficiency than typical light jets, though given that it is powered by Williams International turbofans similar to those used by other light jets, it is not clear where the fuel savings will come from.

In addition to Williams, other suppliers include Aernnova for aerostructures and components, Garmin for avionics, and Spirit AeroSystems for the fuselage.

Our forecast for the HondaJet 2600 Concept isn’t settled yet.  The light jet segment is already crowded, and while extending its product line up from the smaller HondaJet Elite II makes sense for the company, the new model faces a brutal competition for sales in the segment. The Concept’s transcontinental range is a perk, but it isn’t clear it will be enough to make the jet dominant in the light jet segment.

About Doug Royce

A lifelong aviation enthusiast, Douglas Royce is currently co-editor of four of Forecast International's Market Intelligence Services: Civil Aircraft Forecast, Military Aircraft Forecast, Rotorcraft Forecast, and Aviation Gas Turbine Forecast. As such, he plays a key role in many important projects that involve market sizing and forecasting for various segments of the world aerospace industry, as well as demand for related systems.

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