General Electric (GE) is developing the HF120 engine jointly with Honda for the small HondaJet and midsize Spectrum S40 Freedom business jets. According to GE, the engine is on track for certification but neither it nor Honda would confirm the date for this. GE could not give a firm target period either this year or next year.
Honda HA-420 HondaJet
Citing global aerospace industry challenges, Honda Aircraft today announced setbacks in its HondaJet program, moving the projected first flight of a production-conforming airplane to January next year, a delay of nearly a year from its previous schedule. (A prototype made the model's first flight on Dec.
Turbofan engine makers active in business aviation– such as General Electric, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Rolls-Royce and Snecma– all have their hands full with research-and-development (R&D) programs, many of which are driven by aircraft programs. However, almost all of the engine companies also run demonstration programs that will not necessarily morph into full engine development.
The new Marshall Business Aviation Centre at Cambridge, UK, was officially opened on December 4. The £5 million facility combines a new executive terminal with two adjoining hangars that provide more than 50,000 sq feet of space for aircraft maintenance.
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.
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.