The world's fastest Honda is the Honda that you never knew about!
Yes it's faster than your 1,500hp Civic
The Honda Jet bearing the scientific name of HA-420 ;) is the fastest Honda ever made! When you think Honda what comes to mind is probably a Civic, ultra-reliable cars, or F1. But what most people don't know is that Honda made a Jet, well actually three but that's for another story.
The Humble Beginnings
Honda began the challenging study of aircraft and specifically small sized business jets in the 1980s. Honda developed the MH01 which was a turboprop aircraft. In case you were wondering a turboprop is a cross between a jet engine and a propeller engine, so you get the power of a jet with the efficiency of a prop. Then a few years later in the late 1980s and early 1990s Honda started to develop the MH02 which was constructed from carbon fiber and epoxy, which was a first of its kind.
Michimasa Fujino, the designer, and founder of the HondaJet subdivision began sketching out the design for the HondaJet (HA-420) in 1997. A quirk about the HondaJet is that the nose of the jet was inspired by Salvatore Ferragamo Shoes!
My guess would be these shoes
On December 3, 2003 the HondaJet took flight for the first time! Although the experimental concept was a huge success, the executives at Honda were still skeptical if they should commercialize the HondaJet. In a bold but risky manner, Fujino publicly displayed the HondaJet to the public for the first time on July 28, 2005, at the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh airshow. Thankfully there was strong public interest, and the Honda executives were convinced to commercialize the HondaJet!
The HondaJet has a rather unusual design for an airplane. What's so special about the HondaJet is that the engines are mounted on top of the wings. This is called Over-The-Wing Engine Mount, or OTWEM for short. OTWEM is a really nice feature to have on a small jet because it maximizes cabin space by removing the structure required to mount the engines on the rear of the fuselage. A similar design was used on the VFW-Fokker 614 in the 1970s but was a huge failure due to the loss of speed and performance.
To combat this issue as mentioned before, HondaJet's designers used computer analysis and wind tunnel testing to find the optimal position for the engines. The engines on the HondaJet are mounted just so right that the airflow over the wing is superimposed with the air going around the engine to minimize drag and vortices at high speed. The designers of the HondaJet did such a good job at eliminating drag and the disruption of airflow over the wings that the OTWEM design is even more efficient than the conventional real-fuselage mounted engines.
The HondaJet is powered by the same 2.0 L I4 VTEC engine that's in the Civic Type-R. But, instead of just one engine, there are two engines! Ok, now I'm just playing with ya. The HondaJet is actually powered by two GE Honda HF120 turbofans. Honda originally started out with their own engine the, HF118, but later partnered up with the arguably best jet manufacture: GE. The GE Honda HF120 engine features a single fan at the front of the engine, followed by a two-stage compressor, and then a two-stage turbine. The HF120 has a whopping 24.2 hp. Yes, you read that right! The HF120 has only 24.2 hp, however, it has 2,095 lbs (950.276 kg) of thrust and a power to weight ratio of 4 , 5. The HF120 also has internal features that incorporate a 3D aerodynamic design and an effusion-cooled combustor designed to emit fewer levels of CO into the atmosphere.
The HondaJet can be flown by either one or two pilots due to its small size. The HondaJet can carry seven occupants or eight in the European versions. The Honda Jet is 42 ft 7 in (12.99 m) long, has a wingspan of 39 ft 9 in (12.12 m), and is 14 ft 11 in (4.54 m) long. The cabin is rather small but is around the same size of similar private jets with it being 4.83 ft (1.47 m) high and 5 ft (1.52 m) wide. The HondaJet has a cruise speed of 422 kn (486 mph, 782 km/h) which is much faster than any other Honda, even the 1,500 hp Civics.
The HondaJet is very flexible for an airplane of its size. It can hold the same amount of people that my Honda Pilot can while costing 112.5 times as much! That means that the HondaJet cost $4.5 million! If anyone is considering buying a small private jet, you better have a deep wallet because that is around the average price of similar jets. Before I stray too far, the HondaJet even has a medical version that can be used to transport injured or ill people. But probably that craziest thing about this jet is that Toyota owns one! Talk about irony, am I right? In an official statement from a Toyota executive, "We don't make planes, and it means that we buy good stuff, even from rivals." Toyota even went as far as to register their HondaJet with the tail number of JA86GR, named after the 86GR. If that wasn't enough Toyota even painted the GR logo on the engines but kept the HondaJet logo!
Overall, the HondaJet is an amazing creation made by Honda and is truly a feat. of engineering! They are quite rare with only 141 flying as of 2019, I have been lucky enough to spot one in person while on vacation!
The HondaJet that I spotted