CFM Delivers First LEAP-1C to COMAC
Shanghai, China, July 23, 2015: In a special ceremony here, CFM International and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC) celebrated delivery of the first CFM LEAP-1C engine to the aircraft manufacturer. This engine will be installed on the first C919 airplane in preparation for airplane roll out and first flight.
“Delivery of this engine paves the way for the final assembly and rollout of the first C919 aircraft later this year,” said Mr. Wu Guanghui, vice president of COMAC. “We have been very pleased with CFM’s efficient management, strong technology, and professionalism. In addition, the candid collaboration and deep friendship that has developed between the COMAC and CFM teams resulted in a very smooth joint program.”
“It is a great day for the LEAP engine and CFM,” said Allen Paxson, executive vice president of CFM International. “This engine is the culmination of more than six years of hard work between the CFM and COMAC teams and represents the launch of the next exciting phase of the C919 aircraft development. We are honored to be a part of this great program.”
The LEAP engine was officially launched in December 2009 when COMAC selected the LEAP-1C as the sole Western powerplant for its 150-passenger C919 airplane. The engine incorporates a unique, industry-first fully integrated propulsion system (IPS). 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.
CFM is executing the most extensive ground and flight test certification program in its history. There are currently a total of more than 30 LEAP engines (all three models) on test or in final assembly and the program has logged a total of more than 4,730 certification ground and flight test hours and 7,900 cycles. 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 aircraft manufacturers.
The first LEAP-1C engine successfully completed a flight test program in late 2014 on a modified 747 flying testbed at GE facilities in Victorville, California. The flight-test program encompassed a comprehensive test schedule that gauged engine operability, stall margin, performance, emissions, and acoustics. It also validated the advanced technologies incorporated in the engine, including the woven carbon fiber composite fan, the Twin-Annular, Pre-Mixing Swirler (TAPS) combustor, ceramic matrix composite shrouds in the high-pressure turbine and titanium aluminide blades in the low-pressure turbine.
C919 airplane development has entered a critical phase and final assembly of the first airframe structure is nearly complete. The wind tunnel test, iron-bird test, avionics integration, and power system tests are all progressing well. With the delivery of the first LEAP-1C engine and the hydraulic systems, the installation of the airborne systems will begin soon. The first C919 is scheduled to roll out before the end of 2015.
About LEAP: Two engine families have contributed significantly to the design of the LEAP engine, the CFM56 and the GE90/GEnx series of engines. The GE90/GEnx contributed the high-efficiency core architecture to minimize fuel consumption, while the CFM56 legacy drove reliability and maintenance cost design practices. At entry into service in 2017, it is estimated that the GE90/GEnx architecture will have generated 80 million flight hours of revenue service, while the CFM56 family will have over 700 million flight hours of experience.
The CFM LEAP pedigree ensures with confidence the ability to deliver a 15% improvement in fuel efficiency, as compared to the CFM56-7BE, while maintaining the same level of dispatch reliability and life-cycle maintenance costs as the CFM56-7BE. With its simple architecture and $2 billion annual investment in technology, the LEAP engine family offers the lowest cost and highest revenue-generating ability, saving an estimated nearly $3 million per plane.
About COMAC: COMAC was formed on May 11, 2008 and is headquartered in Shanghai. The company functions as the main vehicle for implementing large passenger aircraft programs in China. It is also mandated with the overall planning of developing trunk liner and regional jet programs and realizing the industrialization of civil aircraft in China. COMAC is engaged in the research, manufacture and flight tests of civil aircraft and related products, as well as marketing, servicing, leasing and operations of civil aircraft.
About CFM International: CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran) and GE, the world’s leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines, has delivered more than 28,000 engines to date. Through June 2015, the company had garnered orders and commitments for more than 9,500 LEAP engines.
About Nexcelle: Nexcelle is a joint venture between Aircelle (Safran) and GE Aviation’s Middle River Aircraft Systems (MRAS)