One of the HondaJets prepares for takeoff at EAA Airventure in Oshkosh – Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com
An unusual-looking business jet made an appearance at OshKosh 2013 and was followed in by a second identical aircraft. What were these unfamiliar aircraft? They were the third and fifth FAA-conforming HA-420 HondaJets, appearing for the first time together.
A uniquely-designed aircraft, the HondaJet will enter the small business jet market once the final rounds of FAA certification and testing are completed, estimated in 2014. Designed to carry six people (1 or 2 crew, along with 4 or 5 passengers), this small, light jet is a mixture of cutting-edge design, state-of-the-art technology, and a few new concepts to make it an expected class-leading aircraft.
The two examples flown to AirVenture were frame numbers 3 & 5, of a 6 aircraft-test fleet. Frame number 3, which joined the test program in 2011, is being used for mechanical systems testing, while aircraft number 5 has the first production-fitted interior and should anchor the final tests. Seeing the two aircraft side-by-side at Oshkosh on the very first day attracted quite a large crowd – including me.
The exterior of the new Boeing Business Jet 737. Hi-Res, click for larger. Photo from Boeing.
The Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) is one awesome machine. The airplane is a 737-700 with the wings and landing gear from the 737-800. This provides the ability to carry up to nine fuel tanks and gives the aircraft additional range. The biz jet is capable of going up to 5,600 nautical miles at Mach 0.80. Yea, all the facts are interesting, but what interests me the most are the photos of this aircraft.
The first version of the new BBJ was delivered to a private businessman from the US in early March after it went through interior modifications at Jet Tech, located in Spokane, WA.
Not too shabby. The interior of 737 BBJ. Hi-Res Image: click for larger. Photo by Boeing.
This BBJ is the second for the customer. “Our repeat customers aren’t limited to governments and charter companies, but include private individuals who love the comfort and capability of their BBJ so much, they buy another one,” said Captain Steve Taylor, BBJ president.
The master bedroom of this 737 BBJ. Hi-Res photo: click for larger. Photo by Boeing.
This aircraft is configured to carry only 19 passengers. Knowing that the commercial version can be configured to carry up to 149 passengers, that means this BBJ has plenty of space for each person.
According to Boeing, the aircraft, “has all the amenities of a home including a large personal stateroom with a king-size bed, private lavatory and shower. It also has a smaller guest stateroom with divans that convert into beds enabling the BBJ to sleep up to 8 passengers.”
One could get a lot of good cooking done in this kitchen in the BBJ 737. Hi-Res Image: click for larger. Image by Boeing.
In the well appointed kitchen, there is island, convection/microwave ovens, a refrigerator, wine cooler and trash compactor — not too shabby.
The BBJ starts out at $57million, which is not cheap and will that will only get you the airplane. Most customers will spend an additional $20-25million on the VIP interior. Of course, this is chump change compared to get the Boeing 747-8VIP, which is listed at about $300million and costs, on average, $140-250million for the interior. Better start saving now.