Good news and not so good news for two GE-made bladed disk (blisk) fans at NBAA this week. First the good news. The initial blisk fan for the Passport turbofan, the engine in development for Bombardier's Global 7000 and 8000 business jets, is being prepared for testing. Completion of the 18-blade, 52in diameter validation unit marks a key milestone in the engine program which is on track to complete design freeze in the second quarter of 2012. First engine to test is set for 2013, with first flight on a flying testbed in 2014. Engine certification is set for the following year.
Passport to success? First validation blisk for GE's Passport engine (GE)
Not so good news, however, for the GE-Honda HF120 which suffered damage during ice ingestion testing in Ohio this February. News of the event was kept under wraps until yesterday when HondaJet president and CEO Michimasa Fujino revealed that the engine issues will delay first deliveries by some nine months until around mid-2013. The issue forced a redesign of the fan and has pushed back engine certification to the second half of 2012. "This is impacting the HondaJet certification date,” says Fujino who remains otherwise upbeat about the rest of the program.
HF120 at NBAA (Guy Norris)