Posted on: 12 February 2014 by Mark Howells
CFM International has reported that its LEAP engine certification programme is proceeding on schedule, with 20 total engines to be on test by the end of this year.
“The tests we are performing are designed to push the limits of this engine, in addition to certifying it for commercial service,” explained Chaker Chahrour, executive vice-president of CFM.
The first full LEAP engine (pictured) logged a total of 310 hours and more than 400 cycles during approximately five weeks of testing last autumn. The test programme will encompass 60 engine builds over the next three years and will accumulate approximately 40,000 cycles before entry into service.
The engine recently successfully completed a series of early icing tests, one year ahead of required certification testing. CFM reported that the engine behaved “very well in extremely harsh conditions, validating pre-test predictions and reinforcing the company’s confidence that the engine will certify on time and meet the performance and reliability promises made to its customers”.
Over the next few months, CFM will complete early endurance testing and is on track to begin flight testing both the LEAP-1A and LEAP-1C configurations at GE facilities in California.
The next major milestone will come in June when the first full LEAP-1B engine will begin ground testing at Snecma facilities in Villaroche, France.
“We are in the engine build-up phase right now,” said Cédric Goubet, CFM executive vice-president. “Like the LEAP-1A, this engine will have extensive instrumentation and will track more than 1,500 distinct engine parameters. The hardware is coming together smoothly and we look forward to putting the engine through its paces beginning in mid-June.
“We still have a lot of testing ahead of us, and problems may turn up in future engines,” added Chahrour. “However, the point of these tests is to push the engine as hard as we can. We continue to get great data that is giving us real insight into this engine, and we are right where we want to be.”