|HondaJet’s over-the-wing engine-mount configuration helps eliminate the need for a structure to mount the engines to the rear fuselage and, thus, maximizes the space in the fuselage.|
Honda is bringing the very light jet HondaJet to this year’s EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. After making only a brief appearance for its unveiling at Airventure 2005, the HondaJet will stick around for the entire event this year, and be featured in the new Honda Pavilion.
The HondaJet prototype reportedly gets 40% better fuel economy than comparable aircraft—a promising achievement, given that few solutions are available to lower the greenhouse-gas production inherent in commercial air travel. (Earlier post.)
Very Light Jets (VLJ) are jet aircraft weighing 10,000 pounds or less maximum takeoff weight and cleared for single pilot operations. VLJs can operate from shorter runways than commercial airliners and can utilize the 5,000+ satellite airports around the US. VLJ industry analysts predict there may be as many as 5,000-10,000 VLJs operating in North American airspace by 2015.
Honda began research into compact business jets in 1986, using engines provided by other manufacturers. The HF118 Turbofan Engine-equipped HondaJet experimental compact jet is the first Honda-developed aircraft to be outfitted with a Honda engine, now being refined in a joint venture with GE.
|The HF118 engine.|
GE Honda Aero Engines LLC is a 50/50 joint venture company formed in late 2004 to manufacture and market the HF118 family of commercial turbofan engines ranging in thrust from 1,000 to 3,500 pounds. The initial HF118 engine for the HondaJet will be rated in the 1,700-pound-thrust class.
The company has enhanced the engine over the past year, resulting in:
An improvement in specific fuel consumption of approximately 4 percent and a weight reduction of approximately 8 percent;
Enhancements to Honda’ state-of-the-art high-pressure compressor (HPC) have increased airflow and improved efficiency. Improvements in the high-pressure turbine (HPT) include new blades using GE’s advanced, single-crystal material and that were designed using 3-dimensional aerodynamic (3-D aero) design technology.
The use of high-flow, wide-chord swept aerodynamic technology already service-proven on the GE90-115B, the world’s most powerful engine, and on the GEnx engine currently being developed.
GE Honda Aero Engines intends to sell the HF118 to other aircraft manufacturers as well as see it applied in the HondaJet.