The Hondajet has passed another milestone on its way to entering commercial service. After completing FAA certification testing last year, the executive jet's first pair of production HF120 jet engines have been shipped.
The HF120 is a variant of the Honda HF118 and the first engine to be developed by the GE Honda Aero Engines joint venture. The first pair was built by GE Aviation in Lynn, Massachusetts, where the engine has gone into full production, though manufacturing is scheduled to move to the new Honda Aero factory in Burlington, North Carolina by the end of the year.
The result of over a decade’s work, the HF120 is the smallest jet in the GE stable with a diameter of only 18.5 in (47 cm), though it cranks out 2,095 lb (950 kg) of thrust. It has a wide-chord, swept front-fan bladed disk feeding a two-stage, low-pressure compressor and a counter-rotating, high-pressure compressor with a titanium impeller for maximum engine pressure ratio and stall-free performance.
The engines are mounted on the HondaJet in an over-the-wing engine configuration. According to GE, this reduces drag, and makes for less cabin noise, greater fuel efficiency, as well as the ability to land and take off from a wider choice of airfields.
The Hondajet is Honda’s first go at the aircraft business and GE’s return to the executive jet engine field business since converting the J85 military engine in the 1960s for the first Learjets. Its lightweight carbon composite fuselage seats up to five and has a 12.15-m (39.8-ft) wingspan and overall length of 12.7 m (41.6 ft). It also boasts a cruising speed of 778 km/h (483 mph, 420 knots) and a range of 2,593 km (1,611 mi, 1,400 nm).