By the end of the year, CFM (OE 22) plans to have put together and tested around 20 Leap-1A/B/C turbofans, in preparation for their first flights next year and in 2016 on their respective application airframes. The Franco-American engine manufacturer is also gearing up for a swift production ramp-up, planned to reach an annual 1,700 engines by the end of the decade. The Leap will power the Airbus A320neo (Leap-1A), the Boeing 737 Max (Leap-1B) and Comac C919 (Leap-1C) narrowbodies.
Airbus A320neo family
CFM International has begun ground testing of the first Leap-1B engine developed to power Boeing’s new 737 Max family of narrowbody airliners. The joint venture between Snecma and GE announced today that ground tests began three days ahead of schedule on June 13 and that the 23,000- to 28,000-pound-thrust turbofan already has achieved full takeoff thrust.
Pratt & Whitney’s launch on Tuesday of a 35,000-pound-thrust version of its Geared Turbofan extends the family’s power range by another 2,000 pounds, giving Airbus A321neo customers enough range and payload capability to effectively operate from such hot and high locations as Mexico City and Bogota. Dubbed the PW1135G-JM, the engine gets its extra thrust from leftover development margin extracted from the design of the family as a whole, thereby requiring no hardware or design changes, explained Pratt & Whitney vice president of engineering Tom Prete.
A contract for 30 of the new 737 Max airliners placed by an undisclosed customer on Tuesday has pushed Boeing passed 2,000 orders for the new generation narrowbody. According to the U.S. airframer, the Max has reached the 2,000-order mark faster than any other Boeing aircraft. Boeing now holds 2,010 orders from 39 customers worldwide, with a collective value of $209 billion at list prices, plus commitments for more than 250 additional aircraft.
As CFM International and Pratt & Whitney progress toward the entry into service of their competing engines on the Airbus A320neo, the rival powerplant makers are at odds over which engine will deliver the best performance in terms of turbine temperatures.
Loss-making Kuwait Airways has placed its first order for new aircraft in 20 years with a conversion of a commitment covering 10 A350-900s and 15 A320neos worth some $4.5 billion at list prices. The state-owned airline expects first delivery of the new airplanes in 2019. It now operates three A320s, three A310s, five A300s and four A340s.
Crane Aerospace and Electronics has announced that its SmartStem wireless tire pressure system has been certified for use with Boeing 737NG aircraft. It is already approved for use with the Boeing 747-400, 777 and 787, and with numerous business jet types. The system comprises high-accuracy sensors that replace standard wheel fill stems, and a handheld reader that takes quick and accurate tire pressure readouts without gas loss. The ease and speed of use of the system promotes daily checks, with improved safety as a result, and an increase in tire life.
Southeast Asian carriers VietJetAir and Myanmar Airways maintained the region’s strong growth-curve yesterday, announcing new airliner deals worth almost $7.4 billion. At the Singapore Airshow, Vietnam’s VietJetAir gave Airbus a $6.4 billion contract covering firm orders for 42 A320neos, 14 A320ceos and seven A321ceos.
Engine manufacturer CFM International (Stand G23) plans to test 15 Leap engines this year as part of a development program leading to certification of the Leap-1A for the Airbus A320neo next year. Also part of the program, the Leap 1B and -1C versions are to power the upgraded Boeing 737 Max and the new Comac C919 narrowbodies, respectively. The engine’s designers promise a 15-percent fuel burn advantage over the current CFM56.
Crane Aerospace & Electronics announced the approval of its SmartStem wireless tire pressure checking system on the Boeing 737NG. Crane said that its patented technology offers a way to check tire pressure quickly, accurately and without gas loss. The system consists of sensors and a handheld reader. The sensors replace the existing standard wheel fill stems and the reader electronically reads and stores tire pressure and temperature.
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