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GE Honda HF120 & Spectrum's "Freedom": A fantastic match

GE Honda Aero Engines has signed a business agreement with Spectrum Aeronautical to power the new Spectrum "Freedom" business jet.

For two years, GE and Honda have engaged in aggressive development and component testing for the new HF120 engine, with the first engine scheduled to run in early 2007.

The light and fuel-efficient mid-size "Freedom" will incorporate technology derived from Spectrum's "Independence" model. Certification for the HF120 production engine is targeted for 2009; the "Freedom" is targeted for certification and entry into service in 2010.

GE Honda's HF120 engine will be rated at 2,050 pounds of thrust for the aircraft. It is a higher-thrust successor to Honda's original HF118 development engine, which has accumulated more than 4,000 hours of testing on the ground and in-flight.

"The HF120 is an excellent fit for next-generation business jets," said Gary Leonard, president of GE Honda Aero Engines. "The Spectrum 'Freedom' makes extensive use of lightweight composites and advanced aerodynamics. Combined with the engine technologies, we will create an aircraft with great customer value."

Drawing from GE's and Honda's technology leadership and experience, the HF120 is being designed and tested with the goal of setting new standards of performance for small jet engines in terms of fuel efficiency, durability, and low noise and emissions.

"Since the joint company was formed in 2004, the collaboration between GE and Honda has been outstanding," said Leonard. "We are fully focused on introducing new propulsion technologies that will raise the bar for these types of applications."

Since 2005, the GE Honda team has run numerous component tests for the new design, including core-engine and high-pressure turbine endurance testing, and front fan bird ingestion testing at Honda facilities in Japan; and icing tests at GE's test facilities near Cincinnati, Ohio.

The HF120 technologies include:

*Fan section: A 18.5-inch wide chord, compound-swept front fan and two-stage booster. The front fan and booster are GE Honda blisk designs with the latest 3D aerodynamics drawing from the same technology used to design GE's GEnx engines and Honda's Formula One experience for lower weight and efficiency. The outlet guide vanes are composite for weight reduction.

*Compressor: Features a high temperature, titanium impellor developed by Honda over the past 20 years designed to achieve maximum engine pressure ratio and stall-free performance.

*Combustor: Based on the Honda HF118-design, it features, compact reverse-flow configuration, and single-stage air-blast fuel nozzles. The liner is made of Hastelloy material with laser-drilled, multi-hole cooling.

*Turbine: For durability at high temperatures, powder metal disk and single-crystal high-pressure (HP) turbine blade materials from the GEnx engine have been incorporated. The low-pressure turbine (LP) is a two-stage configuration. Also, a counter-rotating HP and LP system is being introduced to reduce weight.

A key cost-of-ownership feature of the HF120 will be the ability to operate in service for an industry record-setting 5,000 hours before the first major overhaul with no need to open the engine for interim hot-section inspections. Keys to this capability are the advanced airfoil materials and barrier coatings that GE and Honda are maturing for the engine's high-pressure turbine section.

The emergence of small, less expensive business jets creates considerable opportunity for highly reliable and durable jet engines. The GE Honda HF120 durability will be ideally suited for highly utilized aircraft, such as the emerging air taxi industry. Lightweight, efficient design enables the performance, range and comfort required of the business jet customer.

GE Honda Aero Engines envisions annual sales of at least 400 aircraft in the thrust class of the HF120 engine.

Press release issued by GE Honda Aero Engines on October 16, 2006


 Contact details from our directory:
GE Honda Aero Engines Turbofan Engines
Spectrum Aeronautical LLC Airframer


 Related aircraft programs:
Spectrum S-40 Freedom


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