It’s the fastest production vehicle Honda has ever made…by about 300 mph.
The Honda Aircraft Company subsidiary of the Japanese automaker has announced that its new airplane, the HondaJet, has hit 489 mph in testing, less than three months after its first flight. That surpasses its stated goal of achieving a top speed of 483 mph.
The company credits the achievement to the HondaJet's clever over –the-wing engine placement, which it says reduces aerodynamic drag and allows for more space in the fuselage for passengers and cargo. The lightweight executive aircraft can carry up to six passengers and their luggage along with a two-person flight crew, and has an expected range of over 1,600 miles.
In keeping with the efficient reputation of the automobile side of the business, Honda is aiming for a 35 percent reduction if fuel economy compared to jets of similar size. It plans to being building the $4.5 million aircraft, which has been in development for eight years, in early 2012 at a new factory that it is building at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina. Over 100 orders are already on the books.