Honda Engine a Step Closer with Plant Groundbreaking

 - November 29, 2007, 12:23 PM

Local officials and Honda Aero executives yesterday broke ground for the new engine maker’s Burlington, N.C. headquarters. The Honda Aero headquarters and manufacturing facility will cost about $27 million and includes a 58,400-sq-ft production plant and 8,000-sq-ft test cell on 82 acres off the approach end of Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport’s Runway 24. Construction should be finished late next year or early in 2009. While the first certification test and production GE Honda HF120 turbofans will be built at GE facilities in Lynn, Mass., the Honda Aero plant will ramp up to assemble about 200 of the engines a year after mass production begins in 2010. The 5,000-hour-TBO HF120 will power the HondaJet and Spectrum Aeronautical S-40 Freedom. Honda Aero officials hope to open an overhaul facility at the new headquarters, one of the reasons they selected the Burlington airport, according to Atsukuni Waragai, executive vice president of GE Honda Aero Engines. Waragai, an engineer, has been designing and developing Honda turbine engines since 1986.