Testing of CFM International's advanced eCore Demonstrator 2, which began testing in May at a special altitude test facility in Evendale, Ohio, is progressing on schedule and yielding outstanding results.
eCore Demo 2, which includes a 10-stage compressor, lower emission TAPS 2 combustor, and two-stage high-pressure turbine, is the configuration for the LEAP engine schedule to enter service on the Airbus A320neo and COMAC C919 in 2016 and in 2017 on the new Boeing 737 MAX. To date, CFM has received orders and commitments for more than 2,450 LEAP engines to power these three aircraft types.
CFM has completed more than 100 test hours on the core, including conducting performance and operability tests such as low-speed stalls. The company plans to complete another 50 hours of testing by year-end, including high-speed stall parameters.
CFM passed a major milestone recently with the completion of the company's internal Tollgate 3 process which, in effect, freezes the engine configuration. The next milestone will come in mid-2012 with the full engine design freeze.
The heavily instrumented hardware is testing approximately 2,000 different engine parameters. This unique test facility allows CFM to put the hardware through its paces by simulating both ground and altitude conditions over a much greater operating range than could be conducted with a full engine test. It allows engineers to see how the core behaves outside of standard operating conditions at extremes the engine would never encounter in typical commercial airline service.
In early 2012, CFM will begin to build up eCore Demo 3 to incorporate lessons learned on the two previous core tests, leading to the first full LEAP engine to test in 2013.
"We couldn't be happier with the results we have achieved," said Ron Klapproth, LEAP program director for CFM. "The core is running smoothly and is validating both our technology choices, as well as the commitments we have made to our customers"
LEAP is a product of CFM, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran group) and GE. CFM is the world's leading producer of commercial aircraft engines, with nearly 23,000 delivered since the company's formation in 1974.