CFM LEAP-1C receives FAA, EASA certification

The LEAP-1C engine features 3D woven carbon fiber composite fan blades and fan case.

CFM International’s (Villaroche, France) LEAP-1C integrated propulsion system was simultaneously awarded Type Certificates by both the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), paving the way for entry into commercial service on the Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC) C919 aircraft. C919’s first flight is expected to take place in 2017.

The LEAP engine was officially launched in December 2009 when COMAC selected the LEAP-1C as the sole Western powerplant for its 150-passenger C919 airplane. The engine incorporates a unique fully integrated propulsion system (IPS). The LEAP-1C engine features 3D 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 LEAP-1C thrust reverser was developed by Nexcelle, a joint venture between Safran Nacelles and GE Aviation’s Middle River Aircraft Systems (MRAS).

The first LEAP-1C engine successfully completed a flight test program in late 2014 on a modified 747 flying testbed at GE facilities in Victorville, Calif. In November 2015, the first C919 rolled out at COMAC facilities in Shanghai. More recently, COMAC successfully started the engines for the first time in early November 2016, running them for 10 minutes at ground idle power at the company’s Shanghai Pudong International Airport facility.

“It has been a real pleasure working in close coordination with COMAC on this program,” says Francois Bastin, executive vice president for CFM. “The LEAP-1C is the only model for which CFM provides a totally integrated propulsion system that includes the engine, nacelle and thrust reverser. The IPS, along with the pylon developed by COMAC, were all designed in conjunction with each other. As a result, the LEAP-1C features improved aerodynamics, lower weight and easier maintenance. We think that our customers are going to be pleased with the airplane/engine combination.”

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