Honda’s Personal Jets Are Roadsters for the Sky

The Japanese carmaker is building a truly luxurious off-road vehicle.

The first Honda production plane lifted off from Piedmont Triad International Airport at 10:18 a.m on June 27, climbed to over 15,000 feet, and landed safely back on the same tarmac. The 84-minute test flight was no minor feet for the Japanese carmaker, which has been working on its new HondaJet HA-420 for a decade. The planes are compact, built for private use, with shorter laminar flow wings below powerful engines. They are the aviation equivalent of the sort of sporty roadsters Honda doesn’t sell.

HondaJets are already for sale in North America through a growing network of dealerships. Honda puts buyers without prior flying experience – an audience the company is clearly courting – through flight school or offers refresher courses on the HondaJet simulator. But don’t let the entry-level trappings fool you: Honda has built a luxurious performance machine. Sticker prices are expected to hover around $4.5 million. The new planes have more than a little get up and go.

With a maximum altitude of 43,000 feet and a range of 1,357 miles, HondaJets will make city dwellers’ commutes to their summer homes and ski houses a lot faster and a great deal more pleasant. Honda has finally built a truly luxurious off-road vehicle.