Endurance testing of CFM International's advanced 3-D Woven Resin Transfer Molding (3-DW RTM) fan in imminent as development of the advanced LEAP-X engine continues. The fan, along with the composite fan case, with complete the demanding 5,000-cycle endurance test program in the first quarter of 2011.
CFM initiated ground test of a full-scale 3-DW RTM fan installed on a CFM56-5C MASCOT (Moteur Aubes de Soufflante en COmposite Taille) demonstrator engine in early 2009. At Snecma (Safran group) facilities in Villaroche, France, MASCOT completed aerodynamic and performance testing before going to GE facilities in Peebles, Ohio. It has successfully logged 165 hours of extensive crosswind and acoustics testing to measure noise levels under various operating conditions. MASCOT will accumulate approximately 400 additional hours full-scale in 2010 and 2011.
In addition, CFM has performed scores of component and rig tests, including bird ingestion and blade out tests that simulate certification requirements of the proprietary 3-DW RTM technology. The LEAP-X development program is on schedule for engine certification in 2014.
"We have achieved outstanding results, fully in line with our pre-test expectations," said Francois Bastin, LEAP-X program director for CFM International. "We have successfully simulated the complete range of engine certification tests and are confident the technology is ready for production. We will continue to refine and test various blade designs to optimize the final configuration for the first full LEAP-X1C engine test in early 2013."
The LEAP-X fan will feature 18 blades, a 50 percent reduction versus the CFM56-5C and 25 percent fewer blades than the CFM56-7B.
CFM International is a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran group) and GE. It is the world's leading producer of commercial aircraft engines, with more than 21,450 delivered since the company's formation in 1974.