Certification tests of the GE Honda Aero Engines HF120 turbofan are imminent, with the first certification engine delivered, instrumented and installed in a full-altitude test cell at GE's Evendale, Ohio facility.

Readying the engine was no small task, as the amount of instrumentation required by engineers weighed more than the engine itself, says Brad Mottier, vice-president and general manager of GE Aviation's business and general aviation operation.

The initial engines are being built in GE's Lynn, Massachusetts facility, with production later to be moved to the Honda Aero production plant in North Carolina.

"It was a challenge to get the type of instrumentation that we typically use with commercial and military engines to extract as much data as we'd like," says Mottier. "Per pound of thrust, this is the most-instrumented engine ever."

Set for use on the $3.9 million HondaJet and the Spectrum Freedom, the HF120 is controlled by a dual-channel FADEC and will produce a take-off thrust of 2,050lb (9.1kN), weigh less than 181kg (400lb) and have an industry-leading 5,000h time between overhauls, up 40% from similar thrust-class engines, according to GE Honda.

The certification campaign follows eight full engine builds and testing of 10 cores, both on the ground an on the company's Cessna CJ1 flying testbed. In total, GE Honda expects to have about 15,000 of ground and flight test hours on the engine when it is certificated next year. Honda expects to fly its first conforming aircraft in January and deliver the first customer aircraft in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Source: Flight International