|Boeing 737 MAX LEAP-1B Engine. Photo: Boeing
[Avionics Today 05-07-2015] Boeing and CFM International have successfully initiated flight testing of the LEAP-1B engine on April 29 on a modified 747 flying testbed at GE Aviation Flight Test Operations in Victorville, Calif. The testing is the next major milestone in a two-year program that will culminate in engine certification in 2016 and delivery of the first Boeing 737 MAX in 2017. According to Boeing, the engine performed well and completed multiple aeromechanical test points at various altitudes during the five-hour, 30-minute first flight.
The LEAP-1B engine is the exclusive powerplant for the Boeing 737 MAX family and is part of the most extensive ground and flight test certification program in CFM's history. The first LEAP-1B engine began ground testing on June 13, 2014, three days ahead of the schedule set when the program was launched in 2011.
"With this major engine milestone and the test results to date, we continue to be confident that the LEAP-1B-powered 737 MAX will provide our customers with the most fuel efficient, reliable and maintainable airplane in the single-aisle market," said Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager of the 737 MAX program at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The 737 MAX is on track to deliver 14 percent more fuel efficiency than today's most efficient Next-Generation 737s, and 20 percent more efficiency than the first Next-Generation 737s to enter service."