Advanced LEAP-1A engines today successfully completed a four-hour, 25-minute first flight powering the new Airbus A320neo. The flight test occurred right on schedule, reinforcing the success of the LEAP development program and the confidence shown in the performance and durability of the new product. The engines performed extremely well throughout the flight envelope.
This first flight is another major step in the joint airplane/engine development program that will culminate in the entry into commercial service in 2016. CFM is on track for joint U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency certification to support the aircraft entry into service. Nearly 60 percent of the required engine certification reports have been submitted and approved to date.
“Today, we are celebrating the next step in our very successful journey with Airbus. A journey that goes back nearly 35 years to the very launch of the A320 program,” said Jean-Paul Ebanga, president and CEO of CFM International. “It a great achievement for the thousands of people involved in making this day a reality; for many of them, this event will remain a defining moment in their careers. It is humbling to be a part of this historic event and, on behalf of the entire CFM team worldwide, I thank Airbus for making us a part of this incredible program.”
The LEAP engine was chosen as a powerplant for the A320neo in December 2010. Since then, the engine has garnered orders and commitments for 2,508 LEAP-1A engines, representing 55 percent of the orders to date of A320neo aircraft for which an engine selection has been made.
There are currently a total of more than 30 LEAP engines (all three models) on test or in final assembly and the program has logged a total of more than 3,660 certification test hours and 5,460 test cycles.
“We are very pleased with the results we have been achieving,” said Ebanga. “With each day, our confidence grows that the LEAP engine will deliver the performance, reliability, and cost of ownership we have committed to our customers from day one.”
The LEAP program is the most extensive ground and flight test certification program in CFM’s history. The total program, 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 the aircraft manufacturers. Over a three-year span, these engines will accumulate approximately 40,000 engine cycles leading up to entry into service. By the time this engine enters service, CFM will have simulated more than 15 years of airline service with 60 different engine builds.