Posted on: 17 July 2010 by Ross McSweeny
CFM reports that the development of the LEAP-X engine is on track to be certified in 2014, the time when its launch platform, the COMAC C919, is scheduled to have its first flight.
“So far the LEAP-X eCore demonstrator 1 has completed 150 hours, with outstanding results,” remarked CFM executive vice-president Chaker Chahrour, “with hardware meeting or exceeding expectations.”
Chahrour highlighted as an accomplishment, the RTM (resin transfer moulded) composite fan blades, whcih are currently undergoing a 5,000 hour endurance test on the MASCOT demonstration engine.
The EVP related how CFM had looked at 18 different architectures and ended up with a shortlist of four: counter-rotating, unducted fan; direct-drive, single-stage HPT; direct-drive, two-stage HPT; and geared fan. “Out of these the direct-drive, two-stage HPT was the chosen configuration,” he confirmed. “This should maintain the same levels of reliability and of maintenance costs. But it will bring 15% lower SFC [specific fuel consumption], around 50% lower NOx than CAEP6 and 10-15 dB lower than Stage 4 noise levels.
“Making up that 15% better fuel efficiency, about 45% comes from increased bypass ratio and weight benefits, with another 45% coming from higher thermal efficiency – higher pressure ratio core plus advanced 3D aerodynamics and advanced cooling technologies. The final 10% comes from the integration of the engine as part of the complete propulsion system,” Chahrour explained.
The 3-D woven RTM blades are the third generation of composite fan blades within CFM, explained Olivier Savin. “Moreover, the process is ready for production,” he announced. “The 4 lb bird ingestion rig tests and blade out tests have been successfully completed – four years before the entry into service.”
The second eCore demonstrator engine will begin testing in mid-2011, before which the LPT rig test will take place.
Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net