GE Honda Aero Engines has cleared a key milestone for its HF120 turbofan, which powers the HondaJet light twin-engined business jet, with the US Federal Aviation Administration granting production approval for its new manufacturing plant in Burlington, Massachusetts.

This validation comes more than two years after the 2,095lb (9.32kN)-thrust engine, developed by GE Aviation and HondaJet, secured US approval. It allows the company to build the powerplant to type-design specifications without FAA oversight.

The $4.5 million HondaJet is the first platform for the HF120, although it has also been selected by US engineering company Sapphire for its Cessna CitationJet upgrade programme.

HF120 production was initially performed at GE’s Lynn, Massachusetts, facility before its transition to Burlington late last year. The 186m2 (2,000ft2) plant has capacity to build up to 500 engines a year. It will also carry out engine maintenance, repair and overhaul work.

The HondaJet is scheduled for certification and service entry in the coming weeks. The six-seat aircraft is being assembled in nearby Greensboro, North Carolina.

Source: Flight International