Indy Honeycomb is excited to see this new workhorse engine enter the market, particularly with GE Evendale and GE Peebles Test Operation located so close (both less than an hour or so drive) to our facility here in Covington, Ky. Additionally we have enjoyed a very positive relationship with Safran in France and are optimistic about cultivating and expanding this relationship with Snecma. This new engine has incorporated many new features and infused new technology throughout including new forward thinking involved in the honeycomb seal geometry and design. Indy has equipped themselves for development of these new features with equipment, fixturing and tooling and is motivated to continue to improve the processes to accommodate the anticipated production rates.

About Electric–Snecma’s Leap Engines

CFM International announced the Leap engine in 2008 and the General Electric-Snecma joint venture sanctioned the go-ahead of the all-new engine despite having no customer and no firm contract. General Electric and Snecma figured that the market for Leap was out there and was simply a matter of time. They also figured that the Leap market was always going to be primarily the next generation of Airbus and Boeing narrowbodies.

The initial version of the engine, the Leap-1A, which fired up for the first time at GE’s Peebles, Ohio, test site on September 4th is designed for the Airbus A320neo. The Leap-1A is the first all-new centerline CFM engine to enter testing since the original CFM56 was developed by the GE Aviation-Snecma joint venture in the 1970s.

Test Flights…

  • The NEO engine is set to begin flight tests on GE’s Boeing 747 flying testbed in September 2014, with FAR33 engine certification expected the following summer.
  • First flight on the A320NEO is due around the third quarter of 2015 with entry-into-service the following year.

The manufacturer adds that over the next three years, the engines will accumulate approximately 40,000 hr. (18,000 engine cycles) leading up to entry-into-service.

At the time of the engine’s launch in 2008, there was no specific aircraft application, just as with the original CFM56. However, following its launch by Comac as the sole engine choice for the C919 in 2009, Airbus followed in 2010 when it selected the Leap-1A engine as an option along with Pratt & Whitney’s PW1100G on the A320NEO. In 2011 Boeing selected the Leap-1B as the sole powerplant for the 737MAX.

Gearing Up of the Transition to Leap

CFM is gearing up to produce 1,700 engines in 2020, almost all Leap-1s. This will be an increase from the 1,500 engines planned for this year and 1,540 for 2014, all CFM56s. The transition to Leap will begin in 2016.

Already the Leap makes up almost half of the roughly 10,000 engines the joint venture has in backlog: 1,392 Leap-1As for the A320NEO, 2,470 -1Bs for the Boeing 737MAX and 760 -1Cs for the Comac C919.

GE is Upgrading Facilities

General Electric (GE), the industry’s biggest engine supplier, is midway through a key facility expansion to handle the surge it’s expects to have for the coming commercial airliner delivery boom.

  • $70 million expansion of its 7,000-acre Peebles Test Operation in Ohio will enable the facility to cope with accelerating narrowbody and widebody engine delivery rates from next year and into the future.
  • Overall deliveries of all engine models will rise to more than 1,600 in 2014 compared with over 1,200 in 2012 and 1,400 this year. Excluding spares, some 680 CFM56-7Bs were delivered for new-production Boeing 737s in 2012. This is scheduled to grow to 685 in 2013, 725 in 2014 and 740 in 2015.
  • This year also will see more than 500 widebody engines shipped, more than double the number in 2010.

CFM  Feels It has the Lead on Pratt & Whitney

  • CFM International is claiming its Leap-1A engine has up to 3% lower specific fuel consumption (sfc) than the rival PW1100G geared turbofan on the A320NEO family. CFM calculates the 3% better fuel burn on the A321NEO than the PW1100G is worth $2 million per aircraft net present value (NPV)
  • Chaker Chahrour, executive vice president of CFM  said that “The Leap will go into revenue service on the A320NEO 1% better than the competition, based on testing to date. And it will retain that 1% better than the competition, which when you integrate over time adds up to another 1%. And on the A321, because of the longer legs and our better cruise sfc bucket, we get another 1%. So on the A321, 1 plus 1 equals 3.”
  • The General Electric/Snecma joint venture calculates an NPV advantage of $4 million per aircraft on the A320NEO for the Leap-1A, up from the $3.5 million claimed at last year’s Farnborough show.

Detailed Articles about General Electric–Snecma’s Leap Engines

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