Press release

May 20, 2013

GE Honda Aero Engines Approaches Final HF120 Certification Test

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND -- GE Honda Aero Engines announced today it is nearing completion of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification testing on its HF120 engine. In the last six months, the HF120 engine successfully completed crosswind testing and the 150-hour block endurance test. The final remaining test, the medium bird ingestion, is scheduled for completion in July. More than 95 percent of the certification documents to the FAA have been submitted with more than 84 percent already approved.

"The 150-hour block endurance test is very difficult and puts an engine through conditions that it will never experience in the field. We are extremely pleased with the engine's performance during the tests and the condition of the HF120's endurance test hardware," said Terry Sharp, president of GE Honda Aero Engines. "We anticipate finishing testing in July with engine type certification from the FAA expected in the fourth quarter."

A total of 13 HF120 engines have accumulated more than 7,300 hours and more than 9,700 cycles during development and certification testing at nine different test locations. This included accumulation of 3,000 cycles on one engine as part of its endurance validation program. The validation program simulates flight cycles, and the engine will serve as the fleet leader, well ahead of entry-into-service.

The supply chain is ramping up for HF120 engine production with components being stocked. GE's facility in Lynn, Mass. is responsible for initial production. Production will transition to the Honda Aero Inc.'s facility in Burlington, N.C., soon after certification of the HF120.

GE Honda is also establishing its customer service and support program. The support model will consist of a network of GE Honda Authorized Service Providers, a 24/7 GE Honda Operations Center, dedicated field technical managers and customer team managers, among other support operations. GE Honda will offer long-term engine service agreements with Enhanced and Comprehensive maintenance and support services that go above and beyond the basic engine warranty, with coverage of both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance events.

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 Aviation and Honda Aero, Inc., a Honda subsidiary established to manage its aviation engine business. The GE Honda HF120 engine program was launched in 2006 and was selected to power Honda Aircraft Company's advanced light jet, the HondaJet.

Rated at 2,095 pounds of thrust, the HF120 engine succeeds Honda's original HF118 prototype engine, which 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, 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 impeller 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 high-pressure 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 have developed for the engine's high-pressure turbine section enable this capability.

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.