A regional fixed-base operation that grew into an internationally-recognized maintenance and manufacturing facility is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Atlantic Aero, formed in response to customer dissatisfaction with an existing FBO provider in Greensboro, N.C., will hold an anniversary celebration at its booth (No. 2569) today at 3:30 p.m.
Honda HA-420 HondaJet
Honda Aircraft has started the production line for its $4.5 million HondaJet entry-level twinjet. A handful of initial customer aircraft are scheduled to be completed next year. Honda expects FAA certification of the HondaJet’s GE Honda HF120 engine (2,095 pounds of thrust/5,000-hour TBO) in the middle of next year and aircraft certification in 2013.
GE Honda Aero completed water-ingestion testing on the HF120 engine that powers Honda Aircraft’s HondaJet in early September. The tests were done in one of GE’s Peebles, Ohio test cells and are just one of many the HF 120 has passed during a busy year as the engine nears FAA certification.
GE Honda Aero Engines completed water-ingestion testing last week on the HF120 engine that powers Honda Aircraft’s HondaJet. The tests were done in one of GE’s Peebles, Ohio test cells.
“2012 has been an extremely productive year,” said GE Honda Aero president Terry Sharp. The HF120 passed the ice slab test in August 2011 after failing it in February 2011, due to fan blade tip deformation causing a reduction in required thrust, according to executive v-p Masahiko Izumi. “We decided to make a small design change” to the fan blade tips, he said.
Honda Aircraft has broken ground for a 90,000-sq-ft maintenance facility at its world headquarters on Piedmont Triad International Airport. The Greensboro, N.C. facility is scheduled to enter service by the second half of next year.
Site preparation for the $20 million MRO facility began last February on a 54-acre extension to the company’s world headquarters, which houses the manufacturer’s R&D and production buildings. Overall, the $120 million investment encompasses more than half a million square feet on more than 130 acres.
HondaJet president and CEO Michimasa Fujino was presented the 2012 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aircraft Design Award last week. The AIAA Aircraft Design Award “honors a design engineer or team for the conception, definition or development of an original concept, or career contributions leading to significant advancement in aircraft design or design technology.” According to the AIAA, Fujino is being recognized for pioneering the “unique” over-the-wing engine mount used on the in-development HondaJet.
Here we are in 2012, nearly 110 years since the Wright Brothers made the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air flight, and with some notable exceptions aircraft design over the years has become about as conservative and uninspired as a bowl of Jello.
The southern U.S. state of Mississippi is continuing to grow as an aerospace center, having recently announced major plant expansions by General Atomics’ Electromagnetic Systems group and Rolls-Royce. It is home to companies that produce helicopters, airborne early warning radar systems, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), parachutes, electromagnetic launch systems for aircraft carriers and composite jet engine components.
The HondaJet fuselage displayed this week at EBACE was a production article with the production interior and cockpit. Some changes are evident in the fuselage, notably the removal of flip-down displays above each passenger seat.
GE Aviation (Stand 1143) is here promoting its 800-hp H80 turboprop engine, which was certificated by the U.S. Federal Aviation Adminstration in March and already has several applications. Meanwhile, the HF120 turbofan program–for the HondaJet–has progressed slowly.