During a November 12 ceremony at its Burlington, N.C. headquarters, GE Honda Aero Engines officially acknowledged the first production HF120 turbofan produced at the facility. The engine, a product of the joint venture between Honda and GE Aviation, will be one of four shipped next week to Honda Aircraft's HondaJet manufacturing plant in nearby Greensboro.
Though the HF120 received FAA type certification nearly a year ago, all previous engines were built at GE's facility in Lynn, Mass. This week's ceremony, attended by high-ranking officials from both companies as well as dignitaries such as North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, marked the beginning of the shift in production to Burlington.
“With this new engine manufacturing facility, Honda will now be building both jets and jet engines in North Carolina,” noted Gov. McCrory as he and Honda Aero president and CEO Masahiko Izumi unveiled the first engine. According to Izumi, production plans call for the manufacture of 100 engines for the HondaJet in the 12 months after the light jet receives FAA certification, which is expected in the first quarter of next year. The Burlington facility will also provide MRO services for all HF120s.