Honda is primarily known in the West for making cars and motorcycles that your neighbor’s kid seems convinced make him irresistible to women (protip, kid: It actually makes you a lot more resistable.) But they’re innovators in all sorts of manufacturing, including their adorably tiny little jet engine for their upcoming Hondajet.
The Hondajet has been in development for roughly a decade or so as Honda tries to expand into aviation. The Hondajet started being built in 2011, but it’s been waiting to be approved for flight by the FAA for a while, largely thanks to the fact that it’s got an odd “podded” design with the jet over the wing.
Also, it’s because it’s hard to believe so much thrust can come out of something so small.
Teeny. Well, Relatively.
To give you an idea of just how small this thing is, it has a fan aperture of just eighteen inches, compared to your standard GE90 jet engine, which is ten feet across. But the engine can still put out a ton of thrust. No, literally, its thrust is rated at 2,095 pounds. That’s a lot of thrust for a tiny little engine, and it turns out that Honda actually needed to collaborate with GE to get it past FAA testing, since they could get the engine running, but needed help bringing the whole thing home.
Why so tiny? Fuel savings. Combined with the light weight, the small engines mean that you can save 35% of your aviation fuel, and that stuff ain’t cheap.
Not At Your Honda Dealership, But Soon
This is important for two reasons. One, jet engine technology like this can turn up in some surprising places, like, say, your laptop. Two, it will help improve the efficiency of bigger engines, making flyer cheaper for airlines and, by extension, cheaper for you.
Also, it might mean that, in the future, we can have a Batmobile with a jet engine. Oh, come on, you were totally thinking it too.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.