Posted on: 20 November 2015 by Ross McSweeny
CFM has announced certification of the LEAP-1A engine for the Airbus A320neo and in doing so has become the first engine manufacturer to gain dual original certification from both EASA and the FAA, rather one lead agency issuing a type certification and the second agency validating that certification.
The LEAP-1A flew for the first time on the Airbus A320neo on 19 May 2015. A second aircraft joined the test programme in September and, to date, the two aeroplanes have logged a combined total of more than 140 flights and 360 hours of flight testing.
The LEAP development and certification effort is the most extensive in CFM history. A total of 34 engines have been tested to date, logging more than 6,500 hours and 13,450 cycles. Test highlights include fan blade-out; bird ingestion tests, including medium, large, and flocking bird; ice slab ingestion; hail stone and hail storm ingestion; cross wind; icing; acoustics; emissions; triple-redline (maximum fan speed, maximum core speed, and maximum exhaust gas temperature) endurance test; and more than 700 hours of flight testing on modified 747 flying testbeds.
The LEAP-1A, which powers the Airbus A319neo, A320neo, and the A321neo aircraft, features some of the industry’s most advanced technology, including 3-D woven carbon fiber composite fan blades and fan case; a unique debris rejection system; 4th generation three dimensional aerodynamic designs; the Twin-Annular, Pre-Swirl (TAPS) combustor featuring additively manufactured fuel nozzles; ceramics matrix composite shrouds in the high-pressure turbine; and titanium aluminide (Ti-Al) blades in the low-pressure turbine.
The engine will provide operators with double-digit improvements in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to today’s best CFM engine, along with dramatic reductions in engine noise and exhaust gaseous emissions. All this technology brings with it CFM’s legendary reliability and low maintenance costs.