Liebherr-Aerospace (Hall 4 Stand E6) is here exhibiting its flight control and actuation systems, landing gear, air management systems and gearboxes as well as Liebherr-Elektronik electronic components. Highlights include the nose and the main landing gear of Bombardier’s CSeries aircraft, a wingtip brake for the Airbus A350 XWB, a cooling pack for the Comac C919 and a newly developed gearbox for an unnamed, next-generation helicopter program.
GE Aviation is preparing to begin flight tests of its new Leap-1C and Passport engines featuring nacelles developed for them by the group’s Nexcelle joint venture with Safran subsidiary Aircelle. Last month, Nexcelle delivered the first full new-generation nacelles for both programs. They are due to fly soon on the engine maker’s Boeing 787 testbed. The Leap-1C is to power Comac’s C919 narrowbody airliner, while the Passport has been selected for Bombardier’s Global 7000 and 8000 business jets.
Recognizing its potential to become a major industry player, China is finally moving toward greater liberalization of its aviation sector. The announcement followed on the heels of the Third Plenary Session held in November 2013. It was during this time that China’s new leaders, alongside the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), committed to a series of reforms geared to loosen the regulatory grip that has significantly hindered industry growth. Now, eight months later, signs of change are on the horizon.
Engine manufacturer CFM International announced yesterday here at Farnborough International 2014 that American Airlines has selected its Leap-1A turbofan engine to power 100 Airbus A320neos. At list price, CFM values the engine order at $2.6 billion. The aircraft order was originally announced in July 2011 and American will begin taking delivery of the aircraft in 2017.
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.
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.
Honeywell’s long-term investments in the Asian marketplace are paying off, according to Briand Greer, the Shanghai-based president of Asia-Pacific for aerospace. “This is a big show for us with what’s happening with business and general aviation [BGA] in the region,” he said. Key Honeywell BGA programs in China include the LTS101 engine for Avicopter’s AC311 helicopter, which was certified by the CAAC last year and represents the first new airframe for that engine in many years.
Managers of foreign aerospace companies with joint-venture operations in China uniformly worry about the theft of their intellectual property, according to a Rand study issued on April 4. They believe that staying ahead of emerging Chinese competitors requires constant technological innovation, it added.
GE Aviation announced on March 26 that it will break ground this year on a new $100 million assembly plant in Lafayette, Ind., to produce Leap engines for narrowbody airliners as part of its CFM International joint venture with France’s Snecma. It expects the plant will create 200 jobs by 2020.
Liebherr-Aerospace recently delivered the first bleed air system for the C919 narrowbody to Chinese aircraft manufacturer Comac, the Toulouse, France-based aerosystems supplier announced on Tuesday. Comac chose Liebherr-Aerospace to develop, manufacture, qualify and certify the C919’s integrated air management sytem in 2010.
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