Honda is preparing for the first flight tests of two HF120 turbofan engines with a newly redesigned titanium fan blisk that engine maker GE Honda is confident can pass required ice ingestion testing.
The engine fan underwent a redesign following the failure of an on-ground ice ingestion test, Honda Aircraft revealed recently. The company expects the redesigned engine to be certified in the second half of next year. As a result, deliveries of the $4.5 million HondaJet will be delayed until at least the middle of 2013.
During Part 33 engine certification testing earlier this year, the HF120 failed an ice ingestion test when chunks of ice were shot into the engine at full power during ground tests. The test simulates airframe ice breaking off and entering the engine. GE Honda has redesigned the fan blade, increasing the thickness of the leading edge of the fan blades on the blisk and changing the manufacturing process.
In all, Honda’s test program is scheduled to use four flight-test aircraft and the prototype, as well as two static aircraft. Flight testing with the new engines is scheduled to start next month.