Honda Aircraft is moving ahead with plans to “commercialize” the HondaJet 2600 concept light jet that it unveiled at NBAA-BACE 2021. Powered by two Williams International FJ44-4C turbofans and with a Garmin G3000 avionics suite, the 2600 will also share the original HA-420 HondaJet’s over-the-wing-engine-mount design. Certification is planned for 2028.
The last design before former Honda Aircraft president and CEO Michimasa Fujino retired in March 2022, the 2600 promises midsize jet comfort, speed, and range in a light jet airframe. Capable of carrying 11 occupants (two pilots and nine passengers or one pilot and 10 passengers), the 2600 will have a maximum cruise speed of 450 knots, ceiling of FL470, and 2,625-nm NBAA IFR range (four passengers, one pilot). Maximum takeoff weight will be around 17,500 pounds.
While the HondaJet HA-420 is powered by the GE Honda Aero HF120 engine adapted from the Honda-designed HF118, Honda Aircraft selected the Williams engine to enable a shorter timeline for development of the 2600. GE Honda Aero had plans to build a family of 3,000- to 4,000-pound-thrust engines based on the 2,050-pound HF120, but those haven’t gelled as no other aircraft manufacturer has opted for a GE Honda engine. There are significant risks in bringing a new airframe to market with new engines, as many OEMs, including Honda Aircraft, have discovered. The prototype HondaJet first flew in 2003 and Honda made the commercialization decision for that model in 2006. FAA certification took place in December 2015; the engine was certified in 2013. Courtesy of AIN.