Press release

May 03, 2010

Certification Testing Continues on GE Honda's HF120 Engine

Geneva, Switzerland -- GE Honda Aero Engines continues to make steady progress toward certification of the HF120 engine.

"The HF120 engine has demonstrated that it is meeting design objectives for thrust, fuel burn and operability," said Bill Dwyer, president of GE Honda Aero Engines.

The HF120 engine has undergone a comprehensive test program in an altitude chamber at GE Aviation's Evendale, Ohio, facility. Testing has included operation to 46,000 feet altitude and high mach, as well as testing for performance, transients, air starts, and extreme hot and cold conditions. Other component tests and full engine tests to verify design robustness have been completed, including tests such as operation in crosswind and hail ingestion at GE Aviation's Peebles, Ohio, facility.

Thirteen HF120 engines and two core builds will take part in the certification testing at six test site locations. Currently five HF120 certification engines are on test simultaneously with one engine completing 500 durability cycles. GE Honda Aero Engines also plans to test the engine on a flying testbed before flying on a customer certification aircraft. With FAA certification planned in 2011, the HF120 engine will complete more than 15,000 cycles of ground and flight-testing prior to entry into service.

The HF120 engine has undergone an extensive design verification program prior to the official start of FAA certification, including eight core engine builds and eleven turbofan builds. Design optimization and verification was also conducted via compressor, combustor, fan and mixer rig tests.

HF120 engine production will initially begin at GE's site in Lynn, Mass. and will later transition to Honda Aero Inc.'s engine production and overhaul facility in Burlington, N.C.

The GE Honda HF120 engine was launched in 2006 and selected to power Honda Aircraft Company's advanced light jet, the HondaJet, and the Spectrum Aeronautical "Freedom" business jet.

Rated at 2,095 pounds of thrust, the HF120 engine 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 and new standards of performance in fuel efficiency, durability, and low noise and emissions.

HF120 technologies include:

  • A wide chord, compound-swept front fan and two-stage booster along with composite outlet guide vanes.
  • A high-temperature, titanium impellor in the compressor for maximum engine pressure ratio and stall-free performance.
  • A compact reverse-flow configuration combustor and single-stage air-blast fuel nozzles.
  • Advanced materials in the turbine as well as a two-stage low-pressure (LP) turbine and a counter-rotating high-pressure and LP spool shaft system.

A key cost-of-ownership advantage of the HF120 will be the ability to operate at a best-in-class 5,000 hours between major overhauls. The advanced airfoil materials and coatings that GE and Honda are maturing for the engine's high-pressure turbine section enable this capability.

In 2004, GE and Honda formed a 50/50 joint venture, called GE Honda Aero Engines, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The joint company integrates the resources of GE and Honda Aero, Inc., a Honda subsidiary established to manage its aviation engine business.

Honda (NYSE: HMC) is the world's largest engine manufacturer, annually producing more than 20 million engines for a wide range of products, including motorcycles, ATVs, generators, marine engines, lawn and garden equipment, and Honda and Acura automobiles.

GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, components and integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings.