...Less Than $1 Million?
As we reported from the show, Honda officials repeated their long-held position that the airplane was merely a test bed for the engine it has developed. The HF118 turbofan is said to be more efficient than comparable (about 1,700 pounds thrust) engines and Honda has partnered with General Electric in its development. But now Honda is even talking price for the jet, including a low-end ballpark of less than $1million up to a (perhaps more realistic) $2.7 million. If the airframe was, indeed, simply a support system for the engine development, there were some coincidental performance milestones reached. The patented engine mounts, similar to those used on a few other designs, are claimed by Honda to increase performance by 5 percent. They also free up cabin space by eliminating the need for the mounting hardware, plumbing and electrical services in the rear of the fuselage. Add to that the test pilot's opinion that it's a sporty, responsive and easy-to-fly aircraft and it sounds a lot like a very light jet in the making.