Composite image: The new jet from Honda, pictured here, is built largely of composite materials and features a unique over-the-wing engine mount.
A prototype of Honda’s light jet, which will seat five to six passengers and is scheduled to go on sale next year, made its first flight last month. The plane flies at 420 knots, or about 780 kilometers per hour—about 80 kilometers per hour faster than other planes its size. Fujino estimates that about half the fuel savings come from extending natural laminar flow, and most of the rest from the new GE engine and the placement of the engines over the wing. The plane is about 20 decibels quieter than other jets its size, in part because the wings block the engine noise from reaching the ground.