Four years after interest all but died in a new generation of midsize, long-range business jets, Honeywell is refreshing plans to develop a new or derivative engine for the sector amid signs of a coming market revival.
The 10,000-lb.-thrust (10K) market, highly competitive in the late 2000s, flattened in 2009 as projects fell victim to the economic downturn. Since then, some, such as Dassault’s super-midsize project (SMS), have continued through development, while Cessna is developing the Citation Longitude after canceling the Columbus project in 2009.
So far, Snecma appears to have enjoyed the spoils of what remained of the 10K market, unseating the previously selected Rolls-Royce RB282 with its all-new Silvercrest to win Dassault’s SMS, and later claiming the Cessna application. While Pratt & Whitney Canada and General Electric focused on higher-thrust applications for the larger-cabin, longer-range niche, Honeywell remains intent on taking a share of the midsize business.
“All the original equipment manufacturers have studies going on like we haven’t seen in years, and it’s all the usual suspects – Bombardier, Gulfstream, Cessna, Embraer and Dassault,” says Honeywell’s director of engineering propulsion systems, Jim Kroeger. With Honeywell nearing certification of the HTF7500E for Embraer’s Legacy 450/500, the third member of its HTF7000 family, the company is eager to leverage its latest technology for further growth.
But where that growth will occur remains to be determined. “We’re going to have to place our bets. We think we can pick a thrust range below the Silvercrest and above the HTF7000,” says Kroeger. The Silvercrest is centered on the 11,000-lb.-thrust class, while the most powerful HTF7000 variant, the HTF7250G, is rated for the Gulfstream G250 at 7,445 lb. “There is a hole in the market which we see as an emerging market,” he adds.
In its 2012 forecast, Honeywell predicted a requirement for up to 10,000 aircraft worth $250 billion to 2022, more than a third of which were expected in the medium to large sectors.
The HTF7000 as it is today, at its current fan size, could go to about 7,500 lb. But the company has honed a range of technology that Kroeger says could be based on the HTF7000 architecture to make a more advanced growth engine.