Honda Motor Company and General Electric have announced the formation of a strategic alliance to produce a new jet engine for light business jets.
The agreement establishes the framework under which Honda and GE will further develop and certify Honda’s new HF118 turbofan jet engine. Honda launched its jet engine and aircraft project in 1986, and has been developing the lightweight HF118 engine, in the 1,000- to 3,500-pound thrust class, since 1999.
The Honda/GE basic agreement includes joint certification of the HF118, joint marketing activities under both companies’ joint brand with airframe manufacturers, and continued discussions on the business structure under which the two companies will mass produce the engine. Honda and GE have been in discussions for more than a year and expect to sign a formal definitive agreement later this year.
‘This is a great step forward for Honda to enter the aviation business, which has been a dream of the company since its creation,’ said Takeo Fukui, President and CEO of Honda Motor.
‘We aim to commercialise our compact jet engine business by merging mutual strengths: Honda’s HF118 turbofan engine technology, and GE’s technology, sales, and support through a spirit of equal partnership,’ added Fukui.
According to GE, the emergence of smaller, relatively inexpensive business jets, which seat from four to eight passengers, creates the potential for considerable engine sales for future business and personal travel. Honda and GE envision an annual market in the future for approximately 200 or more business jets.