GE Honda Continues Engine Tests

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GE Honda says it's aiming for 2009 certification of its redesigned HF120 turbofan engine. The powerplant, a variation of the HF118 prototype now flying in the HondaJet prototype, delivers more thrust (2,095 pounds) and incorporates technology to improve efficiency, durability and noise. According to GE Honda, the engine is currently undergoing hot-section core tests and a full test will be run later this year. Certification testing is expected in 2008. The company, a cooperative arrangement between the two industry giants, is predicting the engine will burn substantially less fuel than engines of comparable size, but that's only part of the economic picture. GE Honda says the use of advanced materials and manufacturing techniques will push the TBO of the engines to 5,000 hours without the normal half-time hot-section inspection.

GE Honda says it has about 200 orders for engines. In addition to the HondaJet, the engine has also been chosen to power Spectrum's Freedom business twinjet. The company is banking heavily on the success of the air-taxi sector, saying it is projecting annual sales of at least 400 aircraft in the thrust class of the HF120.