Through rapid engine prototyping, GE Honda Aero Engines has built and tested eight HF120 engine cores and eight full turbofan engine configurations to prepare for formal certification testing later this year.
"We're optimizing the engine configuration before certification testing," says Bill Dwyer, president of GE Honda Aero Engines. "The combined resources of the Honda and GE engineering teams working closely together make this possible."
To date, test results are highly encouraging. The HF120 engine has demonstrated more than 2,100 pounds of thrust while exceeding ambitious fuel efficiency and durability targets. Testing and rebuilds of full turbofan engines have been underway at Honda's Aircraft Engine R&D center in Japan for about a year, verifying the engine design's operability, thermal characteristics and component efficiencies.
At the same time, hardware has been released for HF120 engines for the certification program. Testing continues throughout next year with FAA certification targeted for late 2009. Also next year, the engine undergoes flight tests on a flying test-bed, as well as on the HondaJet.
The GE Honda HF120 engine was launched in 2006 on the HondaJet advanced light jet and Spectrum’s Freedom business jet, with service entry for both aircraft scheduled in 2010. By service entry, the HF120 is expected to have accumulated more than 15,000 hours of ground and flight testing.
HF120 engine production will begin in next year at GE's Lynn, Massachusetts, facility. Production then transitions to Honda Aero's new engine production facility in Burlington, North Carolina, which is slated to open for engine deliveries in 2010.