CFM International began testing its first fully assembled Leap turbofan engine, the company said Friday.
The GE-Snecma joint venture fired up the first Leap-1A engine on September 4, with a series of tests eventually reaching takeoff thrust. The company expects engine certification in 2015, with the first entry into service on new engine option Airbus
A320 passenger jets in 2016.
Chaker Chahrour, executive vice president of CFM International, said the Leap-1A will undergo an extensive test program, simulating more than "15 years of airline service and 60 different engine builds."
The certification program encompasses all three LEAP engine variants and will include 28 ground and flight CFM test engines, with 32 different flight test engines for Airbus
and COMAC aircraft. In 2009 COMAC chose the LEAP-1C engine for its C919, scheduled to make its first flight in 2015, while Boeing
has selected the LEAP-1B for its new 737 MAX.
CFM expects to produce a 15 percent improvement in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions over its current engine family with its LEAP family of engines.
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