Honda Explains Reason for Jet Program Delay

Delay caused by test program glitch.

HondaJet First Flight
HondaJet First Flight
** HondaJet**

In explaining the delay announced last week of the HondaJet program, HondaJet president Michimasi Fujino told members of the press at EBACE that it was prompted by an unanticipated test program glitch with the Honda/GE HF120 turbofan engine that will power the airplane.

At a later press conference, GE Honda president Terry Sharp went into detail on the issue, saying that during an endurance test of the engine, a part of the gearbox failed when the test was around 25 percent complete. After diagnosing the problem and fixing it — Sharp said it was a quick and easy solution — the company chose to rebuild the engine and begin the test again, causing the delay.

At this point most of the test program has been completed, with only a bird strike test remaining. Certification of the engine is now anticipated by the end of the year, with Honda’s certification schedule for the HondaJet pushed out to the end of next year.

Honda also announced that it is now flying a fifth conforming airplane, which will be used for function and reliability testing.