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GE Honda Aero Engines thoroughly testing the HF120 engine

With successful tests of a HF120 engine core completed in April, GE Honda Aero Engines is preparing to run a second core test in May, followed by a full engine test in July.

They are part of several key tests in 2007 to validate design enhancements as the HF120 readies to power business jets by 2010. Also in 2007, GE Honda Aero Engines will finalize design and release hardware for the first HF120 engines that will undergo certification testing in 2008.

The GE Honda H120 engine was formally launched in October 2006 when it was selected to power both the HondaJet advanced light jet and the Spectrum Aeronautical "Freedom" business jet. To date, more than 200 HF120 engines are on order. HF120 certification is targeted for 2009, with entry into service on both aircraft scheduled to begin in 2010.

Early in the next decade, the annual production capacity for the HF120 engine is expected to reach 140 engines, which is based on the promising outlook for new-generation light business jets.

The HF120 engine, rated at 2,050 pounds of thrust, succeeds Honda's original HF118 prototype engine, which has accumulated more than 4,000 hours of testing on the ground and in-flight. GE and Honda redesigned the engine for higher thrust, while seeking new standards of performance in terms of fuel efficiency, durability, and low noise and emissions.

GE Honda tested the redesigned HF120 core (compressor, combustor, high-pressure turbine) at Honda's WAKO R&D Center in Japan in March and April. The tests validated the aeromechanical characteristics of the compressor and turbine airfoils. The second core test in May will focus on overall component performance and engine thermal characteristics.

"The full turbofan engine test in July will demonstrate performance and systems capabilities," said Bill Dwyer, president of GE Honda Aero Engines. "We have an aggressive 2007 test plan to assure that our final design is ready for certification. We are very encouraged with the recently completed core tests."

Other tests slated later this year include additional rig testing and further testing of core engines. GE Honda is building seven engines for the certification program that begins next year.

The HF120 technologies include:

*Fan: A wide chord, compound-swept front fan and two-stage booster. The front fan and booster are GE Honda blisk designs with the latest 3D aerodynamic design, 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 for 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 advanced material with laser-drilled, multi-hole cooling.

*Turbine: For durability, advanced materials are being used, and single-crystal high-pressure (HP) turbine blade materials from the GEnx engine. The low-pressure turbine (LP) is a two-stage configuration. A counter-rotating HP and LP spool shaft system provides further reduction in 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 coatings that GE and Honda are maturing for the engine's high-pressure turbine section.

The emergence of light, low-cost business jets creates considerable opportunity for highly reliable and durable jet engines. In 2004, GE and Honda formed its 50/50 joint company, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, near the GE Aviation headquarters. The joint company integrates the resources of GE and Honda Aero, Inc. in Reston, Virginia, a Honda subsidiary established to manage its aviation engine business.

The GE Honda HF120 durability will be ideally suited for high-utilization aircraft, such as the emerging air taxi segment. Lightweight and 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 May 24, 2007


 Contact details from our directory:
GE Honda Aero Engines Turbofan Engines


 Related aircraft programs:
Spectrum S-40 Freedom
Honda HA-420 HondaJet


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