GE Honda Aero Engines is studying single-engine and higher-thrust versions for the HF120 turbofan as the HondaJet nears entry-into-service later this year, company officials say.
The disclosure adds the usual rush of preparations for a new engine going into service.
The US-Japanese joint venture is also busy signing up maintenance suppliers, with Cambridge-based Marshall Aviation joining TAG Aviation in Farnborough and Rheinland Air Service in Germany as authorised service providers in Europe for the HF120. The company also has unveiled a new power-by-the-hour service agreement called E=MC2.
But the long duration between programme launch – GE and Honda Aircraft formed the engine joint venture 11 years ago – and entry into service has made the new propulsion supplier eager to find new applications.
GE Honda Aero Engines have discussed a single-engine application of the HF120 with aircraft manufacturer Cirrus, says president Steven Shaknaitis. The 2,095lb-thrust HF120 would offer a thrust improvement over the 1,800lb-thrust Williams FJ33 currently powering the single-engined SF50.
Meanwhile, GE Honda Aero Engines officials are also studying a higher-thrust version of the HF120 core, says Daniel Harris, the programme manager. The engine architecture can support a thrust range between at least 1,800 and 3,000lb-thrust, but the study is focused on a thrust level of about 2,400lb-thrust or slightly higher, Harris adds.
GE Honda Aero Engines has so far delivered 10 flight test engines and 34 production engines to support the HondaJet programme, with about 100 engine deliveries expected this year.