GE Honda Aims for Late 2013 Approval of HF120 Engine
GE Honda Aero Engines has announced that its 2,095-pound-thrust HF120 turbofan intended initially for the HondaJet is nearing completion of certification tests and is on track for delivery of the first entry into service engines before year-end. “We now have a line-of-sight for certification and we are gaining experience on the fleet,” said GE Honda Aero president Terry Sharp.
Certification has been delayed by about four months following a problem encountered around a quarter of the way into the strenuous 150-hour block endurance test. Sharp described the failure as occurring in a bolt clamp in the gearbox system and stressed that there were no turbine machinery issues. Following a minor redesign and some changes to the assembly process the HF120 engine began the block test again, which was successfully completed in April.
GE Honda has so far submitted 180 of the 189 documents required for FAA certification, and 158 have been approved. The final certification test is medium-bird ingestion, which will be undertaken in July at GE’s Peebles, Ohio facility. EASA certification has also been applied for, which would follow about six months after FAA approval.
Altogether, the 13 HF120 test engines have accumulated more than 7,300 hours, including 232 hours of in-flight testing in a Cessna CitationJet testbed.