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Honda Aero begins production of HF120 turbofan at new Burlington plant

Honda Aero, Inc. (HAI) has begun production of its new HF120 turbofan engine completed at the new facility in Burlington, North Carolina. The HF120 engine is the result of a joint venture established in 2004 between Honda and GE combining the R&D, engine production, and jet aviation expertise of the two companies. (Earlier post.)

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HF120. Click to enlarge.

Early production of engines, prior to the startup of the new Honda Aero production facility, has been conducted by GE Aviation at its Lynn, Massachusetts facility. The new HAI production facility is anticipated to takeover all HF120 engine production by the end of the year.

The HF120 engine is an advanced, 2,000-pound-thrust class turbofan powerplant. It features a compact and lightweight design with a unique counter-rotating differential bearing architecture that helps deliver outstanding power and benefits including:

  • Best-in-class fuel efficiency enabling longer range and greater payload;

  • High thrust-to-weight ratio delivering increased aircraft speed and reduced climb time to cruising altitude; and

  • Best-in-class durability reducing aircraft operating cost.

By reducing weight and incorporating innovative 3D aerodynamic designs, the HF120’s components interact with greater efficiency while optimizing operability, Honda says. The engine uses a centrifugal impeller designed to operate at advanced aerodynamic efficiency levels without the need for variable geometry. This is complemented by a unique, effusion-cooled combustor design to deliver environmental benefits including: reduced NOx, CO and HC emissions compared to other certified engines in this class and noise levels quieter than Stage 4 requirements.

(Effusion cooling—also known as transpiration, or multi-hole—is an advanced liner cooling technology for modern combustors that employs minute cooling passages through the wall to be cooled.)

The Honda Aero, Inc. facility is currently prepared to produce the HF120 engine for customers, but will also use its resources to provide maintenance and overhaul service at its Burlington facility. The facility, which is the official Maintenance Repair and Overhaul facility for the HF120 engines, features an advanced test cell, repair and overhaul, as well as parts warehousing.

With this new engine manufacturing facility, Honda will now be building both jets and jet engines in North Carolina. I look forward to a day in the very near future when North Carolina-made HondaJets and GE Honda jet engines will be in the hands of customers around the world.

—North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory

Resources

  • Luca Andrei, Antonio Andreini, Cosimo Bianchini, Gianluca Caciolli, Bruno Facchini, Lorenzo Mazzei, Alessio Picchi, Fabio Turrini (2014) “Effusion Cooling Plates for Combustor Liners: Experimental and Numerical Investigations on the Effect of Density Ratio,” Energy Procedia, Volume 45, Pages 1402-1411, doi: 10.1016/j.egypro.2014.01.147

  • Moskal, F. (1991) “Manufacturing of Effusion Cooled Combustors,” SAE Technical Paper 911141, doi: 10.4271/911141

Comments

mahonj

It strikes me as crazy that Honda would start off by designing a new plane AND engine.
Why not just build the plane and pick the most suitable engine off the shelf.
Airbus does not build engines, Boeing does not build engines, they both buy them in.
Building a jet, starting form scratch is a huge task, doing so AND building a turbofan engine at the same time sounds crazy to me.

Nick Lyons

Honda is an engine company, so they built an engine. :-)

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