The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded Part 33 certification to GE Honda Aero Engine’s HF120 turbofan engine, certifying its airworthiness and setting the stage for the production of this all-new engine. (Earlier post.) The HF120 engine’s airworthiness certification follows an extensive ground and flight test program that involved 13 engines. During its certification program, the HF120 engine accumulated more than 14,000 cycles and 9,000 hours of testing.
Rated at 2,095 pounds of thrust, the HF120 engine is designed to set new standards of performance in fuel efficiency, durability, and low noise and emissions. HF120 technologies include:
A wide-chord, compound, swept front fan blisk (bladed disk—a single engine component consisting of a rotor disk and blades), along with composite outlet guide vanes.
A high-temperature titanium impeller in the compressor for maximum engine pressure ratio and stall-free performance.
A compact reverse-flow configuration combustor and single-stage air-blast fuel nozzles.
Advanced materials in the high-pressure (HP) turbine as well as a two-stage low-pressure (LP) turbine and a counter rotating HP and LP spool shaft system.
A key cost-of-ownership advantage of the HF120 will be the ability to operate at a best-in-class 5,000 hours between major overhauls. The advanced airfoil materials and coatings that GE and Honda have developed for the engine’s HP turbine enable this capability.
Assembly is currently under way at GE’s facility in Lynn, Mass., which is responsible for initial production. Production will transition to the Honda Aero Inc. facility in Burlington, N.C., next year.
GE Honda is establishing its customer service and support operation. The support model will consist of a network of GE Honda Authorized Service Providers, a 24/7 GE Honda Operations Center, dedicated Field Technical Managers (FTMs) and Customer Team Managers (CTMs), among other support operations. GE Honda will offer long-term engine service agreements with Enhanced and Comprehensive maintenance and support services that go above and beyond the basic engine warranty, with coverage of both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance events.
In 2004, GE and Honda formed a 50/50 joint venture, called GE Honda Aero Engines, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The joint company integrates the resources of GE Aviation and Honda Aero, Inc., a Honda subsidiary established to manage its aviation engine business. The GE Honda HF120 engine program was launched in 2006 and was selected to power Honda Aircraft Company’s advanced light jet, the HondaJet.