Posted on: 06 September 2013 by Mark Howells
Testing of the first full CFM LEAP engine is under way, the start of an extensive ground and flight test certification programme scheduled to include 60 engine builds over the next three years.
The programme will culminate in engine certification in 2015 and first entry into commercial service on the Airbus A320neo in 2016.
The LEAP-1A engine for the Airbus A320neo fired for the first time on 4 September, two days ahead of the schedule. After a series of break-in runs, the engine was operating smoothly right up to full take-off thrust.
“In the past five years, we have completed thousands of hours of component testing leading up to this day,” remarked Chaker Chahrour, executive vice-president of CFM International. “Everything we have seen tells us the LEAP engine is going to deliver all we promised, and much more.”
The engine, which shares common turbomachinery with the LEAP-1C, is installed at Site 3B at GE’s Peebles, OH, outdoor test facility, where it will be on test for the next several weeks. The overall certification programme, which encompasses all three LEAP engine variants, includes 28 ground and CFM flight test engines, along with a total of 32 flight test engines for Airbus, Boeing, and COMAC. Over the next three years, these engines will accumulate approximately 40,000 hours (18,000 engine cycles) leading up to entry into service.