GE Honda Aero Engines (GHAE), the joint venture between GE Aviation and Honda Aircraft, announced on Monday at EBACE 2016 that it had received EASA certification last month for its HF120 turbofan engine, which powers the HA-420 HondaJet. The engine is already FAA certified.
During the past year GHAE has been expanding its support network for the engine, and recently added the UK’s Marshall Aviation Services and Germany’s Rheinland Air Service (RAS) to its list of European authorized service providers.
Two HondaJets are on display here at the show, one owned by Marshall and the other by RAS. GHAE has also established the EMC (Engine Maintenance Care) program for HondaJet operators, and all nine HondaJets now in service have signed on to the program, said GHAE president Steve Shaknaitis. GHAE will deliver its 100th HF120 in June, and plans to produce up to 160 of the 2000-pound-thrust-class engines annually.
To absorb that production capacity, GHAE is seeking additional OEM platforms for the HF120 “beyond the HondaJet,” said Shaknaitis, and is also “studying doing a bigger engine, in the range north of 3,500 pounds of thrust,” dependent on “market dynamics going forward.”
Meanwhile Honda’s partner in the venture, GE Aviation, is highlighting at EBACE the FAA’s certification for business jet applications of its Passport engine, which will power Bombardier’s Global 7000, scheduled for 2018 entry into service. Designed for a new generation of extra-long range business aircraft requiring engines in the 10,000 to 20,000-pound-thrust category, thus far the engine has accumulated some 2,400 hours of operation and 2,800 cycles.
GE is also developing an Advanced Turboprop (ATP) engine, selected by Cessna to power its next generation single-engine turboprop. The ATP, at 1,650 shp, delivers 10 percent more power and burns 20 percent less fuel compared to a Pratt & Whitney PT-6 of equivalent power, said Brad Mottier, GE Aviation’s vice-president for Business and General Aviation and Integrated Systems. The engine uses “all proven technology,” minimizing risks of development snags or unforeseen problems after entry into service.
The ATP is being developed and will be built in Europe, with the Czech Republic the current leading candidate for the location of the production facility. The engine is expected to have its initial run in the fourth quarter of 2017. Mottier said the company is “talking to” other aircraft OEMs about using the engine in their programs, and expects to expand the ATP product line in the future. “It’s the start of a franchise,” he said.