GE Honda Aero Engines said it is releasing hardware designs and receiving manufactured hardware for its first HF120 development engine, in preparation for formal certification testing. To date, the company has built and tested 10 HF120 engine cores and 10 full engine demonstrators.
Honda HA-420 HondaJet
Korry Electronics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Esterline Corp., is at Booth No. 2976 showing the cockpit control panels it has been selected to supply for the HondaJet. Korry will provide 12 control panels per aircraft to Honda Aircraft Co. to complement the HondaJet’s all-glass flight deck. Each panel features 5⁄8-inch
GE Honda Aero Engines has started building the first HF120 engine for FAA certification testing scheduled to begin early next year.
Hardware for this engine began arriving at General Electric’s Lynn, Mass. facility last month, keeping the program on track for certification later next year. Honda Aircraft’s HondaJet and the Spectrum Aeronautical S40 Freedom are launch customers for the 2,095-pound-thrust HF120.
Cessna flew the first production Citation CJ4, S/N001, on August 19, a little more than three months after the first flight of the prototype. Production S/N 001 will fly avionics and systems certification tests, and S/N 002 will be used for function and reliability testing and company service tests.
This year has seen some significant changes in the very light jet (VLJ) category, with two manufacturers going bankrupt and another facing serious financial challenges.
Aviation Technology Group was the first of the modern crop of very light jet manufacturers to fold, having filed for liquidation (Chapter 7 bankruptcy) in May.
Brad Mottier, general manager of GE Aviation’s newly formed business and general aviation division (B&GA), outlined the genesis, philosophy and goals of the unit, saying its mission is to integrate recent acquisitions Smiths Aerospace and Walter Engines into the bizav mix of GE’s product lines.
Garmin would not confirm its participation in the HondaJet program, but these photos and illustrations of the G1000 system and its architecture appeared in the report Honda R&D Americas chief engineer Michimasa Fujino submitted to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Under the cover of private funding, Honda has been secretly and very seriously developing its six- to eight-seat light turbofan twin. Though the automaker steadfastly maintains it has “no business plan” to manufacture the business jet, the project aircraft has a name, HondaJet, and the development program is well advanced.
A spokesman for Honda R&D Americas has revealed that the company expects to begin flight tests “soon” of its new light jet–the HondaJet–at its facilities at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C. The light twinjet, he said, will be powered by a turbofan designed and built by Honda, but beyond that he declined to comment.
As it did for the Embraer Phenom 100 earlier this year, the FAA is proposing special conditions for certification of Honda Aircraft’s HA-420 HondaJet that would require a fire-extinguishing system even though FAR Part 23 does not require them. With engines mounted outside the pilots’ field of view, “early visual detection of engine fires is precluded,” according to the FAA.