CFM’s advanced LEAP-1A engine was jointly certified the the U.S. FAA and Europe’s EASA on November 20, 2015.
CFM is unique in that it is the only engine manufacturer to gain dual original certification from both agencies, rather one lead agency issuing a type certification and the second agency validating that certification. This reflects CFM’s dual design and production structure which has been so successful for more than 40 years.
“It has been an incredible journey for the entire CFM Team to get the engine to this point,” said Francois Bastin, executive vice president of CFM International. “It is truly an achievement which involved our engineering, supply chain, and test teams, as well as EASA and the FAA. The LEAP engine includes many industry first technologies and the agencies have worked with us from the beginning to validate the certification plan for these advancements.”
The LEAP-1A flew for the first time on the Airbus A320neo on May 19, 2015. A second aircraft added to the test program in September and, to date, the two airplanes have logged a combined total of more than 140 flights and 360 hours of flight testing.
“We are very pleased with the way all of the LEAP engine models have been performing during the test programs,” said Allen Paxson, executive vice president for CFM. “The LEAP-1A is doing extremely well in flight tests on the A320neo; the reliability we designed for this engine is definitely there. We are very confident that the LEAP engine family will deliver on every commitment we have made to our customers.”
The LEAP development and certification effort is the most extensive in CFM history. A total of 34 engines have been tested to date, logging more than 6,500 hours and 13,450 cycles. Test highlights include fan blade-out; bird ingestion tests, including medium, large, and flocking bird; ice slab ingestion; hail stone and hail storm ingestion; cross wind; icing; acoustics; emissions; triple-redline (maximum fan speed, maximum core speed, and maximum exhaust gas temperature) endurance test; and more than 700 hours of flight testing on modified 747 flying testbeds.
The LEAP-1A, which powers the Airbus A319neo, A320neo, and the A321neo aircraft, features some of the industry’s most advanced technology, including 3-D woven carbon fiber composite fan blades and fan case; a unique debris rejection system; 4th generation three dimensional aerodynamic designs; the Twin-Annular, Pre-Swirl (TAPS) combustor featuring additively manufactured fuel nozzles; ceramics matrix composite shrouds in the high-pressure turbine; and titanium aluminide (Ti-Al) blades in the low-pressure turbine.
The engine will provide operators with double-digit improvements in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to today’s best CFM engine, along with dramatic reductions in engine noise and exhaust gaseous emissions. All this technology brings with it CFM’s legendary reliability and low maintenance costs.