Nexcelle to Supply the Nacelle for the LEAP-X1C Integrated Propulsion System on China's COMAC C919 Airliner
Cincinnati, Ohio -- Nexcelle will be a key partner on the world's first truly integrated propulsion system, providing a highly capable nacelle, thrust reverser and exhaust system for the new CFM International LEAP-X1C engine selected as the sole western powerplant to launch China's COMAC C919 jetliner.
Innovative features available in the Nexcelle design include an advanced inlet configuration, the extensive use of composites and acoustic treatment, and an electrically-operated thrust reverser.
"COMAC's selection of LEAP-X1C for the C919 is an historic choice, enabling this new aircraft to benefit from the full advantages of a next-generation, low-risk integrated propulsion system," said Nexcelle president Steve Walters. "These advantages include reduced fuel consumption through better aerodynamic performance and lower weight, higher in-service reliability, better maintainability – resulting in lower direct operating costs."
The LEAP-X1C integrated propulsion system was conceived through the side-by-side working relationship of Nexcelle and CFM. Nexcelle is a 50/50 joint venture of Middle River Aircraft Systems (MRAS) and Aircelle, whose GE and Safran parent companies also own the 50/50 CFM International (CFM) joint venture.
Nexcelle has modeled its operating practices, collaborative tools and business processes directly on those of CFM International and their shared parent companies. This enables the collaborative development of integrated propulsion systems such as the LEAP-X1C configuration selected for China's C919.
Established in 2008, Nexcelle combines the expertise of its MRAS and Aircelle parent companies in engine nacelle design, systems integration, certification, manufacturing and after-market product support. It teamed earlier this year with CFM, which has become the world's most successful jet engine suppliers – delivering more than 20,000 powerplants for aircraft flown by more than 500 operators worldwide.
"This partnership is strategic to our integrated propulsion system solution, as CFM International and Nexcelle work together to define product requirements and then optimize the propulsion system's capabilities through a shared product development process," Walters said. "This is what integration is really about: it's not just a label or something that can be created overnight."
The LEAP-X1C integrated propulsion system selected for COMAC's C919 includes a totally new centerline engine that was launched by CFM in mid-2008. In its application on the single-aisle C919, the LEAP-X1C propulsion system is scheduled to enter commercial service in 2016.
Nexcelle is creating smart nacelle systems for tomorrow's world travel. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, the company is a joint venture of Aircelle and Middle River Aircraft Systems (MRAS), which are leading suppliers of engine nacelles, thrust reversers and aerostructures. Through Nexcelle's relationship with CFM International, the company brings unparalleled expertise in the design, development, production and support of integrated propulsion systems for a wide range of aircraft.
Middle River Aircraft Systems is one of the top suppliers of jet engine thrust reversers and nacelle systems. The company also produces a variety of specialized structures for major aircraft manufacturers on commercial and military aircraft. Middle River employs a workforce of about 1,000 employees at its Baltimore, Maryland site. In addition to design and manufacturing, Middle River Aircraft Systems provides technical support and spares services for a variety of aerostructures.
Aircelle is one of the leading players in the global nacelle market and has a workforce of 3,000. It produces large and small nacelles, thrust reversers and aerostructures. The company is expanding its repair and support business, especially on the products that Aircelle has been given after-sales service responsibility directly with operators. Aircelle is a subsidiary of Safran, an international high-technology group with activities in aerospace propulsion, communications, aircraft equipment, defense and security.