The new HondaJet Elite S gets a bump in mileage and new tech.
Honda updated its "Accord for the sky" HondaJet this week, adding a red S to the Elite moniker. It's improved with new safety/communications tech and an increased maximum takeoff weight of 200 pounds over the previous version, which it replaces. That means you can either fly 138 miles farther, take another passenger, or add more stuff. It's like the Honda SUV of HondaJets.
The HondaJet Elite S gets three new exclusive color options: Gunmetal, Luxe Gold and Deep Sea Blue. The Elite S gets a new logo, with the S in bold red. Honda says buyers can option more customization as well.
The twin-engine, 4,100-lb-ft of uninstalled thrust jet can hold 7 or 8 passengers including one or two crew. Its top cruising speed is a 486 mph (422 knots) and it can go about 1,650 miles on a full tank of jet fuel. Its service ceiling is 43,000 feet.
New avionic features include FAA Data Comm and ACARS, which replace traditional voice commands with text-based messaging to improve the ease of communications. Combined with the newly introduced Advanced Steering Augmentation System (ASAS), Honda says "the Elite S further reduces pilot workload and maximizes safety."
The FAA Data Comm feature uses texts for departure clearance and enroute services, where available in the United States. ACARS stands for Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System, and is a datalink for short messages between aircraft and ground stations. It's for communicating with operation centers including flight plan upload, messaging, weather, and automatic transmission of position reporting, according to Honda.
"Since its introduction in 2018, the HondaJet Elite has achieved the best performance in its class while also being the most efficient, and with the new Elite S, we take another step forward in expanding the aircraft's capability," said Honda Aircraft Company's President and CEO Michimasa Fujino.
The Elite S costs $5.4 million, up from $5.3 million for the previous Elite. The HondaJet is still a deal when you consider a nine-passenger Cessna Citation will set you back about $8 million, a two-passenger Bugatti will set you back $18 million, and an Embraer Legacy 650E goes for about $25 million. On the other hand, you could just wait for flying cars.