December 18, 2013
By AOPA ePublishing staff
The FAA has certified the airworthiness of the HF120 turbofan engine that will power the Hondajet, setting the stage for the engine’s production, said GE Honda Aero Engines in a news release.
Certification of the advanced twin-engine light Hondajet, once expected by the end of 2013, is seen by the end of 2014. Its certification was set back when the 2,095-pound-thrust engine didn't pass ice-ingestion testing, requiring a subsequent engine redesign.
In announcing on Dec. 13 that engine certification obstacles have been overcome, the company confirmed the expectations it stated in October, arriving at "a perfect way to end 2013," said GE Honda Aero Engines CEO Terence Sharp.
The milestone "is just the beginning for our team, which has worked tirelessly to demonstrate the technologies in our engine," he said. "We have been ramping up the supply chain and production processes to prepare for a successful entry into service."
The engine’s certification followed completion of ground and flight tests involving 13 engines that accumulated more than 14,000 cycles in 9,000 hours of testing. Honda Aero Engines says the HF120 engine—designed to run 5,000 hours between major overhauls—will “set new standards of performance in fuel efficiency, durability, and low noise and emissions.”
Assembly, in progress at a GE facility in Lynn, Mass., will be relocated to the Honda Aero Inc. facility in Burlington, N.C., next year.
Honda Aero Engines is a 50-50 joint venture between GE and Honda formed in 2004. The HF120 program was launched in 2006.
Aircraft Power and Fuel
Italian twin-engine airplane manufacturer Vulcanair stepped into the single-engine certified aircraft market April 9 with the announcement of a 180-horsepower, four-seat single.
Solar Impulse 2, an updated and larger version of the groundbreaking aircraft that has captured imagination and support around the world, was unveiled April 9.
Piper and Continental have teamed to produce a diesel-powered Archer designed for the international flight training market. The first Archer DX has been flying in Germany since February.
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