Press release

May 12, 2009

GE Honda Aero Engines Readies for Significant Milestones on HF120 Engine Certification Testing

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND -- The second half of 2009 will be filled with significant certification testing milestones for the GE Honda Aero Engines' HF120 engine.

"The majority of the hardware for the first HF120 development engine has arrived, and engine assembly will begin by June at GE's Lynn, Massachusetts, facility," said Bill Dwyer, president of GE Honda Aero Engines. "The first engine to test will occur by mid-summer, and testing will continue into 2010."

A total of 13 HF120 development engines will take part in the certification testing at seven locations in the U.S., Canada and Japan. Tests will include altitude fan blade out, crosswind, stress and endurance testing.

GE Honda also plans to test the engine on a flying testbed before flying on the customer certification aircraft. By entry into service, the HF120 is expected to have accumulated more than 15,000 cycles of ground and flight testing.

The HF120 engine has already experienced one of the most extensive engine test programs prior to the official start of FAA certification testing. To date, GE Honda Aero Engines has built and tested 10 HF120 engine cores and 11 full engine demonstrators. The engine has produced more than 2,100 pounds of thrust, exceeded its ambitious fuel efficiency target and proven its durability.

HF120 engine production will initially begin in Lynn and transition to Honda Aero Inc.'s new Burlington, North Carolina engine production facility, which will be completed next month.

The GE Honda HF120 engine was launched in 2006 and selected to power Honda Aircraft'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.

The 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 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., 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 General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of commercial and military jet engines and components as well as avionics, electric power, and mechanical systems for aircraft. GE Aviation also has a global service network to support these offerings. GE traces its beginnings to Thomas A. Edison, who established Edison Electric Light Company in 1878.