Engine Redesign Costs HondaJet Another Year
Deliveries of the HondaJet will be delayed until at least mid-2013, because of a late-stage redesign of the aircraft’s GE/Honda HF120 engine. The engine fan has undergone a redesign following the failure of an on-ground ice ingestion test, Honda Aircraft president Michimasa Fujino revealed today at the NBAA Convention in Las Vegas. Fujino said he expected the revamped engine to be certified sometime in the second half of 2012 and called the delay “regrettable.” A spokesman for GE/Honda said the redesigned fan blades are slightly thicker, but that the redesign would force a considerable portion of the “air work” performed on the original design to be repeated. Also complicating the redesign is that the fan is made from a “blisk,” or single forging, which includes all the blades and the fan hub. This is the latest supplier delay to beset development of the $4.5 million entry-level twinjet and Honda announced it even as it touted a new $20 million maintenance, repair, and overhaul center it said it would open in 2013 at its sprawling 83-acre Greensboro, N.C. headquarters, R&D and production campus. Fujino said the second flight-test aircraft likely would fly next month but that the third would need to await the redesigned engines. Honda’s test program is scheduled to employ four flight-test aircraft and the prototype, as well as two static articles.