GE Honda to demonstrate full engine for VLJs in 2007 as P&W begins to ramp up production of PW600 family

Joint company General Electric Honda Aero Engines has developed a series of improvements for the HF118 small turbofan, which it plans to demonstrate on a full engine in 2007 as it tries to break into the very-light jet (VLJ) engine market.


Meanwhile, Pratt & Whitney Canada expects to deliver about 500 PW600-family engines in 2006, beginning a ramp-up in production to as many as 1,200 a year for the Cessna Citation Mustang, Eclipse 500 and Embraer Phenom 100 VLJs within four years. “The show really starts in 2006,” says business aviation vice-president Andrew Tanner.

The PW615 powering the Mustang is “on track” for certification by year-end, says Tanner, who adds that certification for the PW610 variant for the Eclipse is still targeted for the end of March 2006. The PW617 powering the Phenom VLJ is due for certification in late 2007.

Upgrades to make the HF118 more competitive are expected to reduce specific fuel consumption by as much as 5%, as well as reduce engine weight by 15%. The improvements should boost GE Honda’s efforts to power very light and light business jets requiring engines in the 1,000-3,500lb thrust (4.45-15.6kN) range. The HF118 is thought to be in contention for as many as three projects.

Component tests of some improvements have already been undertaken, and core tests took place in Japan in mid-2005. Compressor and combustor rig tests are currently under way at Honda’s research site in Japan.

The main changes include enhancements to the centrifugal high-pressure compressor, lighter and higher-temperature materials in the core, and advanced alloys in the three-dimensionally designed high-pressure turbine. The fan is also being modified with the wide-chord swept blade design originally developed for the GE90-115B.

Source: Flight International