Earlier this year, 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 currently underway.
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 on the Airbus A320neo and COMAC C919 in 2016. To date, CFM has received orders for more than 1,100 LEAP engines to power these two aircraft types. Additionally, pending approval by the Boeing Board of Directors to offer the airplane, LEAP will also be the exclusive powerplant for the new engine 737 aircraft announced in July 2011. .
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.