IT CAN make mincemeat of traffic jams and take you from London to Glasgow in a little over one hour but you won’t find this Honda in your local showroom.
Instead, the new HondaJet is being sold by dedicated dealers where champagne is more likely than a cup of weak coffee to be the refreshment offered in reception.
The executive aircraft is Honda’s first commercial aeroplane and earlier today made its maiden flight in North Carolina on the way to achieving certification and entry into service in 2015. During the test flight it climbed to 15,500ft and reached a speed of 400mph.
Thanks to the unusual placement of the plane’s two Honda HF120 turbofan jet engines, the HondaJet should be easy to spot. Instead of being mounted beneath the wings they are, uniquely, located above them in what Honda calls an Over-The-Wing-Engine-Mount (OTWEM) configuration. The company claims this dramatically improves performance and fuel efficiency.
Among the new aircraft’s virtues, including the roomiest cabin in its class and the largest baggage capacity, the HondaJet has a fully serviceable private aft lavatory. You won’t find that in a Civic.