Honda quietly started developing its light corporate jet in 1986. In 1997, the unique design of the over-the-wing engine pylons was sketched out by Honda Aircraft Company’s President & CEO, Michimasa Fujino. The configuration was finalized in 1999 and the first flight was accomplished in 2003. The over-the-wing engine mounts remove the need for a carry through structure, allowing for an approximately 30 percent larger cabin than a similarly sized jet.
In 1999, Honda began development on a new engine for the HondaJet. GE later joined Honda in the development of the HF 120 turbofan engine. The engines each develop 1,880 pounds of thrust with a 2.9 bypass ratio, pushing the HondaJet to a maximum cruise speed of 420 ktas.
The cabin has a four-place club seating arrangement with a fifth, side-facing seat, directly across from the entry door. In an air taxi configuration, the cabin capacity would be six passengers.
The cockpit features a Garmin G-1000 glass avionics suite with three displays.
Honda Aircraft Company announced in 2007 that their world headquarters would be based in Greensboro, North Carolina, and deliveries would start in 2010.