A320neo with CFM LEAP engines receives type certification

A320neos, with the composites-intensive LEAP-1A engine, are expected to begin delivery in summer 2016.

Airbus (Toulouse, France) reported on May 31 that its single-aisle aircraft, the A320neo, has received, on-schedule, type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the second engine option to be certified – CFM International’s  composites-intensive LEAP-1A engine. This certification paves the way for the delivery of the first A320neo equipped with this engine type in mid-2016. This award follows by six months the initial Certificate of Airworthiness received from the EASA and FAA for the A320neo, powered by the Pratt & Whitney engine option. The first A320neo was delivered in January 2016.

The two LEAP-powered aircraft assigned to the flight test campaign have now successfully accumulated more than 1,000 flight hours in more than 350 flights – including 150 flight hours completed with the same aircraft in an airline-like environment to ensure operational maturity at entry into service. Certification of the remaining aircraft/engine variants with LEAP engines will follow in the coming months. When all flight testing has been completed, the NEO development fleet (with both engine options) will have achieved a combined total of 3,000 flight hours.

Fabrice Brégier, Airbus’ president and CEO says, “This key milestone for the A320neo program, and its second engine option — the specially developed LEAP-1A — is a double seal of approval by the two major international governing bodies and comes after the A320neo Family had successfully accomplished a rigorous program of certification trials. We look forward to the entry into service of LEAP-powered models in the very near future.”

Featuring the latest engine technologies, Sharklet wing-tip devices and cabin innovations, the A320neo Family offers the lowest operating costs of any single-aisle aircraft delivering 15% fuel burn per seat reduction at entry into service in 2016, and a 20% reduction by 2020.

The A320neo Family offers airlines an engine choice between the Pratt & Whitney Pure Power PW1100G-JM and the CFM LEAP-1A engines. With one aircraft in three sizes (A319neo, A320neo, A321neo), the A320neo Family, seating from 100 to 240 passengers, allows operators to match the right aircraft size to demand and seamlessly covers the entire single-aisle segment on low to high-density domestic to longer range routes up to 4,000 nm. Since its launch in December 2010, Airbus says the A320neo Family has received more than 4,500 orders from more than 82 customers, representing some 60% share of the market.

CFM International is a 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines.