With initial running of the new Leap-1 engine on schedule in September, CFM International (CFMI) has embarked on an “unprecedented” level of testing that should involve 20 developmental units by the end of next year and seven of the remaining eight planned examples before 2016 (when a final powerplant will take part in a short exercise–possibly a Leap-1C blade-out check).
CFM International LEAP-X
CFM International—the 50-50 joint venture between GE and France’s Snecma—has started testing the first full Leap turbofan engine, the company announced Friday. The Leap-1A—one of the powerplant choices for the Airbus A320neo—fired for the first time on September 4, two days ahead of schedule.
ILFC, a wholly owned subsidiary of American International Group and one of the world’s largest aircraft lessors, preaches diversification in terms of aircraft and engine purchases, geographical distribution of its fleet and in the forms of leasing and financial programs it employs. Its Airbus A320 orders, which number 769 following additions at last month’s Paris Air Show, perhaps best reflect the company’s philosophy, notwithstanding the calculated risk it took when it signed as the A320neo’s launch customer.
The 10th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition–popularly known as Airshow China–will be held in Zhuhai, Guandong from Nov. 11-16, 2014. Started in 1996 as the Zhuhai Airshow, it has since been held biennially. It is the only international aerospace trade show in China with a flying display that is endorsed by the State Council in Beijing.
On May 2, CFM International froze the design for the Leap-1B engine that is to power Boeing’s 737Max narrowbody and, eventually, the Boeing Business Jets derived from the airliner. The engine manufacturer, which is a joint venture between Snecma and GE, has said it on track to achieve the first full engine test in mid-2014, followed by initial flight testing in 2015 and powerplant certification in 2016. The 737Max is due to enter service in 2017.
CFM International last week froze the design of the Leap engine variant destined to power Boeing’s new 737 Max narrowbody. The Snecma-GE joint venture has said it expects to achieve the first full engine test of the Leap-1B in the middle of next year, followed by initial flight-testing in 2015 and powerplant certification in 2016. Boeing expects the 737 Max to enter service in 2017.
China’s Spring Airlines has ordered CFM56-5B engines to power a pair of new Airbus A320s that it is due to received in January and July 2014. Engine maker CFM International announced the $40 million deal on November 14 at Airshow China 2012.
CFM faces some uncertainties surrounding its Leap-1C turbofans for the Comac C919 narrowbody, although the engine program schedule calls for that variant of the three-member Leap family to go to test first.
CFM International has expanded its TruEngine program coverage to include content assurance guarantee (CAG) for subsequent buyers of qualified CFM56 engines. The engine maker launched the CAG in response to customer requests for more assurance of asset value upon the sale of a qualified CFM56. With this guarantee, customers who purchase a qualified CFM56 are entitled to a 50-percent credit on replacement parts if, at the first shop visit after transfer of ownership, any parts or repairs found in the engine are not original CFM parts or CFM-authorized repairs.
Boeing and China’s Comac opened a new joint-venture facility in Beijing last week to study biofuels refinement and improvements to air traffic management. Its first project is to study the prospects for refining used cooking oil, often described in China as “gutter oil,” into sustainable aviation biofuel.
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