The pace of the LEAP engine development is accelerating as CFM International continues to successfully check off major development milestones as the program moves toward entry into service in 2016.
The engine program is proceeding on schedule, with 28 engines tested to date. To date, these engines had accumulated more than 4,200 test hours and 6,400 cycles, including ground and flight tests.
On April 29, CFM initiated flight testing of the LEAP-1B engine on a modified 747 flying testbed at GE Aviation Flight Test Operations in Victorville, California. The engine behaved well and completed multiple aeromechnical test points at various altitudes during the five-hour, 30-minute first flight. The LEAP-1B was the third flight test program CFM had launched in seven months. Overall, the company has completed more than 50 flights and 425+ hours on the two 747s testbeds.
That milestone was followed a few weeks later, on May 19 in Toulouse, by the first flight of the LEAP-1A engine powering the Airbus A320neo. Again, the engine performed extremely well, completing a four-hour, 25-minute mission during which the engine was tested throughout the entire flight envelope.
Both tests were conducted 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 are successfully continuing the flight test missions, which represent the next major milestones in a program that will culminate in entry into service on the A320neo in 2016 and the 737 MAX in 2017.
In the last several months, CFM has been completing major ground test points. The company initiated three different flight-test campaigns on GE's flying testbeds over the course of seven months.
Most recently, the LEAP engine successfully executed the fan blade-out test; bird ingestion tests, including medium, large, and flocking bird; ice slab ingestion; hail stone and hail storm ingestion; cross wind; icing; acoustics; emissions testing; and, most recently, the triple-redline block test.
These engines are part of the most extensive ground and flight test certification program in CFM’s history. Overall, the test plan will eventually encompass 60 engine builds over a three-year span and will accumulate approximately 40,000 cycles prior entry into service.
Source: CFM International
Date: Jun 15, 2015