Nexcelle’s participation at Airshow China 2014 is looking to the future of the company’s engine nacelle on CFM International’s* LEAP-1C Integrated Propulsion System (IPS), as it supports the growing pace of flight test activity, prepares for production and creates the Customer Support framework.
The LEAP-1C will power COMAC’s C919, and is the first new-generation Integrated Propulsion System for an airliner. Nexcelle’s nacelle is a key contributor to the IPS’ operational advantages, which include improved aerodynamics, lower weight, higher reliability and easier maintenance.
With the first LEAP-1C engine now undergoing evaluations on a modified GE Aviation 747 flying testbed aircraft at Victorville, California, USA, Nexcelle is providing continuing support for this activity – and is preparing for COMAC’s subsequent startup of C919 prototype flight testing in Shanghai, China.
In parallel, Nexcelle’s two parent companies – Aircelle (Safran) and GE Aviation’s Middle River Aircraft Systems (MRAS) – are completing their industrial set-up for LEAP-1C nacelle series production, working closely with their supply chains.
The establishment of Nexcelle’s support infrastructure for C919 operators also is moving forward, involving the creation of an on-line customer portal and the organization of support/services resources within its parent companies.
“Nexcelle continues to demonstrate that our joint venture is meeting the challenge of creating, producing and supporting a highly innovative nacelle package on the LEAP-1C’s Integrated Propulsion System,” said Nexcelle President Michel Abella, who is attending this week’s Airshow China 2014 event in Zhuhai.
Key features of Nexcelle’s IPS nacelle system for the LEAP-1C include an all-new translating O-Duct thrust reverser configuration; a fan cowl that is structurally integrated to the engine; an integrated mounting system for reduced engine distortion and enhanced on-wing performance; along with a low drag front end that incorporates a directed flow nozzle deicing system. The IPS’ installed performance is further enhanced by a low drag, low weight pylon developed by COMAC concurrently with the nacelle.
A major innovation in Nexcelle’s nacelle design for the LEAP-1C is its one-piece composite O-Duct configuration, which replaces a traditional thrust reverser’s two-piece “D” doors. When deployed, the O-Duct moves aftward to the reverse thrust position, eliminating drag links in the engine’s secondary flow-path, enhancing the airflow path and improving fuel consumption – while also increasing thrust reverser efficiency. The O-Duct deployment is performed with an evolved electrical thrust reverser actuation system.
Another of the nacelle system’s technological advances is the directed flow nozzle deicing system, which more efficiently swirls engine bleed air within the inlet lip – providing weight, efficiency and maintainability improvements from traditional nacelle deicing systems that use Piccolo tubes.
Nexcelle’s LEAP-1C nacelle also incorporates the extensive use of lightweight and noise-attenuating composite materials, benefitting from the proven experience of the joint venture’s parent companies in their respective nacelle and thrust reverser product lines.
Date: Nov 10, 2014