CFM's LEAP engine continues successful certification test program
More than 1,500 test hours logged to date and on track for engine certification in 2015
ZHUHAI, China — CFM International's LEAP engine is performing exceptionally well in ground and flight testing on the path to engine certification and flight tests on the Airbus A320neo and COMAC C919 in 2015.
The engine took the skies for the first time on 6 October on a modified 747 flying testbed at GE Aviation Flight Test Operations in Victorville, California, and has to date completed more than 75 total hours of flight testing.
"This engine has performed well beyond our expectations," said Jean-Paul Ebanga, president and CEO of CFM. "The results we are achieving across the board are outstanding and reinforce not only the technology choices we have made but also the overwhelming acceptance this it has garnered from airlines around the world. We couldn’t be happier with where this program is today.”
CFM is currently executing the most extensive ground and flight test certification program in its history. The total program, which encompasses all three LEAP engine variants, includes 28 ground and CFM flight test engines, along with a total of 32 flight test engines for Airbus, Boeing, and COMAC.
The engine has successfully completed more than 2,600 cycles on many of the most demanding tests, including early icing; cross wind; bird ingestion; emissions; acoustics; and early endurance testing.
Although all three LEAP engine variants will fly on the modified testbed, the configuration currently being tested is a fully integrated propulsion system (IPS). This IPS is an industry first and unique to the LEAP-1C. CFM provides the engine as well as the nacelle and thrust reverser developed by Nexcelle*. These elements, including the pylon provided by COMAC, were designed in conjunction with each other, resulting in a total system that provides improved aerodynamics, lower weight, and easier maintenance.
The foundation of the LEAP engine is heavily rooted in advanced aerodynamics, environmental, and materials technology development programs. It will provide double-digit improvements in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to today’s best CFM engine, along with dramatic reductions in engine noise and emissions. All this technology brings with it CFM’s legendary reliability and low maintenance costs.
About CFM International
CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran) and GE, is the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines, has delivered more than 27,000 CFM56 engines to date. The LEAP engine has experienced the fastest order ramp up in commercial aviation history, with 7,820 firm orders and commitments on the books as of October 31, 2014.
* Nexcelle is a joint venture between Aircelle (Safran) and GE Aviation’s Middle River Aircraft Systems (MRAS).