In September 2019, our plant in Commercy, eastern France, celebrated the delivery of the 20,000th fan blade and 1,000th fan case for the LEAP engine, manufactured from composites using the 3-D-woven RTM (resin transfer molding) process. CFM has received more than 18,500 orders and commitments for the LEAP family to date, making it the fastest-selling engine in the history of aviation. Given this sales success and the unprecedented production ramp-up needed to keep pace, everybody at Commercy is very proud of reaching this milestone, which confirms the plant’s operational efficiency and its decisive role in the LEAP production ramp-up.
The Commercy plant, opened in May 2014, makes composite fan blades and cases for the LEAP engine in partnership with Albany International, an American textiles and composites specialist. Like its sister plants located in Rochester, New Hampshire in the United States, and Querétaro, Mexico, Commercy represents the marriage of two distinct industries: textiles, using Jacquard type looms (which date back to the 18th century), and aerospace, which has long counted on the strength and lightness of carbon fibers. These plants make the composite parts using a proprietary process, based on the 3-D weaving of carbon fibers and resin transfer molding (RTM). The weaving together of these fibers in very complex patterns gives these parts both strength and flexibility.