Airbus today announced that it has selected CFM International's advanced LEAP-X engine as part of its offering for the new A320neo (new engine option). The new airplane/engine combination could enter commercial service by spring 2016.
"We are obviously honored to be part of this exciting program," said Eric Bachelet, president and CEO of CFM International. "This is a natural extension of the long and very successful relationship we have enjoyed with Airbus since the inception of the A320 Family program in the early 1980s. CFM pledges its full support to the A320neo's development and certification and to its successful entry into commercial service."
CFM launched the new LEAP-X engine as a totally new centerline engine in 2008. Since then, the company has held extensive discussions with potential customers around the globe, both airlines and leasing companies, to help define LEAP-X engine configuration to ensure that it meets their fundamental requirements: reliability, fuel efficiency, maintenance costs, and environmental performance.
Tom Enders, Airbus president and CEO stated, "We are confident that the A320neo will be a great success across all markets and with all types of operators, offering them maximum benefit with minimum change. We are leveraging a reliable, mature aircraft and are making it even more efficient and environmentally friendly."
With a base of more than 500 customers, and more than 21,500 engines delivered, CFM has consistently delivered on its commitments. Since the first A320 was launched in 1985, CFM56 engines have been selected to power approximately 55 percent of all A320 family aircraft.
CFM brings to industry its experience of an unrivaled successful 50/50 partnership between GE and Snecma (Safran group). This partnership has been extended to the year 2040.
CFM is currently receiving hardware for the build-up of eCore Demonstrator 2, which will begin testing in mid-2011. eCore Demo 2 will feature a 10-stage high-pressure compressor and two-stage high-pressure turbine, along with the lean burn, low emissions TAPS combustor. CFM will run a third core configuration in 2012, just prior to the first full LEAP-X1C engine test in early 2013.
At the same time, CFM is set to begin endurance testing of the advanced 3-D Woven Resin Transfer Molding (3-DW RTM) fan, which, along with the composite fan case, will complete a demanding 5,000-cycle endurance test program in the first quarter of 2011. It has successfully logged 165 hours of extensive crosswind and acoustics testing to measure noise levels under various operating conditions. The MASCOT fan demonstrator engine will accumulate approximately 400 additional hours full-scale in 2010 and 2011.
LEAP-X is a product of CFM International (CFM), a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) and GE.