• Final configuration now set; detailed design phase in process
• Program on track for 2016 certification
Development of CFM International’s advanced LEAP-1B is progressing on schedule as the LEAP-1B / Boeing 737 MAX combination sees ramp up in orders. To date, CFM has received orders for a total of 2,726 engines (powering 1,381 airplanes) at a value of approximately $35 billion U.S. at list price.
“When we launched this program with Boeing in 2011, we knew it would be very successful,” said Jean-Paul Ebanga, president and CEO of CFM international. “But even we could not have believed we would sell nearly 3,000 engines in less than two years. Our focus now is on execution. We have to deliver what we have promised. But everything we are seeing from this engine so far validates that we will meet our commitments to Boeing and our airline customers.”
Highlights of 2013 orders include TUI, which finalized on order for 60 aircraft earlier today; Turkish Airlines (THY), which ordered 50 737 MAX aircraft in late May; and Icelandair, which finalized an order for 16 aircraft in February. Japan’s Skymark announced today its intent to purchase an undisclosed number of 737 MAX aircraft as part of its fleet renewal program.
On track for engine tests in 2014
The LEAP-1B development program is progressing on schedule. In May, CFM announced that it had completed design freeze for the engine, paving the way for the first full engine to test in mid-2014.
"Achieving design freeze is a significant step in the program. All of our testing and design work leading to this moment demonstrates that we are on track to meet all of our program commitments," said Gareth Richards, LEAP program manager for CFM parent company GE Aviation.
This milestone is effectively the point at which the engine configuration is set, or frozen. This now allows CFM to finalize and release detailed engine design drawings, which it will do over the next six months. Parts manufacturing for the LEAP-1B engine will then accelerate through year end, leading to build-up of the first engine in early 2014. The LEAP-1B is on schedule for CFM flight testing in 2015 and engine certification in 2016. The 737 MAX is scheduled to enter service in 2017.
Francois Bastin, LEAP program manager for Snecma added: "We have completed extensive component testing on both the core engine and full fan module testing. Experience has taught us that the more testing we do before the first engine goes into service, the smoother that entry will be. That’s why we are going to log more than 40,000 engine cycles the equivalent of approximately 15 years of airline service over the next three years to ensure that we deliver service-ready engines from day one.”
CFM has been conducting component and rig tests on LEAP hardware for more than five years; the program is now moving into an exhaustive engine ground test phase. There are twelve LEAP-1B certification engine builds schedule over the next three years.
Overall, CFM will have a total of 28 certification engine builds and 32 flight test engines across the three LEAP engine models.
The 737 MAX continues a 32-year relationship between CFM and Boeing; CFM engines have been the sole powerplant for all 737 aircraft sold since 1981.
The LEAP engine family is a product of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran) and GE. CFM is the world’s largest commercial aircraft engine supplier, and the company has delivered 25,000 engines to more than 530 operators around the globe. The CFM56 fleet has logged more than 635 million flight hours in the past 30 years as the most reliable engines in the air.
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