Honda To Build VLJ Engines In North Carolina

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Honda Aero (not to be confused with sister subsidiary Honda Aircraft) announced on Tuesday that it will establish its corporate headquarters and a state-of-the-art jet engine manufacturing plant in Burlington, N.C., adjacent to the Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport. The $27 million, 102,400-square-foot facility will include office space, a production plant and an engine test cell. Production will begin in late 2010 with the manufacture of the GE Honda HF120 turbofan engine, which will power both the HondaJet and Spectrum Aeronautical's Freedom twinjet. The plant is expected to turn out about 200 engines per year. "This is a major step forward for our company, as we move to establish the home of our jet engine manufacturing operations here in Burlington," said Honda Aero President and CEO Fumitaka Hasegawa. GE Honda collaboration on the HF120 began in early 2005. The first core test of the HF120 was conducted earlier this year, which is to be followed by full-engine testing by year-end. The HF120 is the most fuel-efficient engine in its class, the company said, and it is expected to surpass the future anticipated emissions standards by as much as 20 percent.