Aerostructures specialist GKN (Booth No. C7127) is looking to leverage its expertise in commercial airliner technology to break further ground in the business aviation world. The UK-based group is promising breakthroughs that could shave hundreds of valuable pounds off aircraft structural and system weights.
Honda HA-420 HondaJet
Deliveries of the HondaJet will be delayed until at least mid-2013 because of a late-stage redesign of the GE Honda Aero HF120 engine that powers it. The engine fan has undergone the redesign following a failure during an on-ground ice ingestion test, Honda Aircraft president Michimasa Fujino revealed at NBAA 2011 in Las Vegas today. Fujino said he expected the revamped engine to be certified sometime in the second half of 2012. He called the delay “regrettable.”
Nexcelle (GE Aviation, Booth No. 1833) is developing the nacelles for two new engines from GE Aviation and CFM International, a partnership between GE and Safran for business and commercial aircraft: the GE Passport 20 and the CFM International Leap-X1C.
GE is here with three major programs at various stages of development. The Passport 20, for Bombardier’s Global 7000 and 8000 large-cabin business jets, has already passed some rig tests. The GE Honda HF120, for the HondaJet and the (currently suspended) Spectrum Freedom, is scheduled for certification in 2012. Meanwhile, the HF80 turboprop is due for certification later this year.
If anyone doubts Honda Motor Company’s commitment to the general aviation industry, a visit to Honda Aircraft’s new 623,000-sq-ft factory at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C., underscores the significant investment the company has made.
Just when the business aviation industry appears to be weathering the economic storm comes another series of blows.
Honda Aircraft president and CEO Michimasa Fujino welcomed members of the media on Tuesday to a rare open house at the company’s new production facility at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C. The $100 million, 263,000-sq-ft production facility was completed earlier this year.
Honda Aircraft has achieved new milestones during flight testing of the first FAA-conforming HondaJet (F1), including reaching a maximum speed of 425 knots (true airspeed), rate of climb of 3,990 fpm and maximum operating altitude of 43,000 feet. Powered by two GE Honda HF120 turbofans, the $4.5 million HondaJet is scheduled to enter service in the third quarter of next year.
Hampson Industries is enjoying a string of new contracts and ongoing programs that will help the U.S. company continue growing as a supplier of tooling used to manufacture structural aircraft components and as manufacturer of the components themselves.
When GKN Aerospace CEO Marcus Bryson gets bullish about market conditions it is probably worth paying attention. He was quick to identify the full extent of the downturn triggered by the global financial crisis and has generally erred more toward the “glass-half-empty” view than seeing the glass as being half full.