In May, CFM International conducted extensive rig testing on schedule of its ultra-high-efficiency LEAP low-pressure turbine with outstanding results.
The rig, which included the full low-pressure turbine (LPT) and turbine rear frame, validated the technical innovations in the design, including the advanced three-dimensional designed airfoils and blade and vane alignment. Initial results confirmed very high efficiency levels and matched results achieved in pre-test simulations.
"The LPT is a key contributor to the engine performance," said Francois Bastin, director of the LEAP Program for CFM. "This rig test was a major milestone and we are just thrilled with the results. This design is truly the state-of-the-art."
Additional rig testing is planned over the next few weeks.
In parallel with the rig tests, CFM also installed LEAP LPT hardware in a modified CFM56 engine and began ground testing the first build at GE facilities in Peebles, Ohio, last month. The test plan includes a second build that will be on test by mid-year. The goal of the two builds is to assess acoustics and to validate corresponding LPT performance and airfoil mechanical behavior in a real operating environment.
The LEAP engine is on track for certification in 2014 and entry into service in 2016.
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 22,200 delivered since the company's formation in 1974.