Airbus today announced that the A320neo powered by CFM International’s LEAP-1A engine has received Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), paving the way for delivery of the first A320neo equipped with the LEAP engine in mid-2016.
“Today’s announcement marks another great milestone in the long relationship between CFM and Airbus,” said Jean-Paul Ebanga, CFM president and CEO. “We are very proud of what we have accomplished with the LEAP-1A engine together with Airbus. We can’t wait to start bringing LEAP’s outstanding fuel efficiency, low maintenance costs, and world-class reliability to our customers later this year.”
Airbus selected the LEAP-1A and an option for the A320neo in December 2010. The engine flew for the first time on the A32neo on May 19, 2015; a second airplane was added in September of last year. In February, the LEAP-1A was the first engine to power the A321neo, which is currently undergoing flight tests. Overall, these aircraft have accumulated more than 1,000 flight hours in more than 350 flights – including 150 flight hours completed with the same aircraft in an airline-like environment to ensure operational maturity at entry into service. Certification of the remaining aircraft variants with LEAP engines will follow in the coming months.
The LEAP-1A features some of the industry’s most advanced technology, including 3-D woven carbon fiber composite fan blades and fan case; ceramics matrix composite shrouds in the high-pressure turbine; and titanium aluminide (Ti-Al) blades in the low-pressure turbine. The engine will provide operators with double-digit improvements in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to today’s best CFM engine, along with dramatic reductions in engine noise and exhaust gaseous emissions.
LEAP-1A engines are a product of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines. CFM, the world’s leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines, has delivered nearly 30,000 engines to date. The LEAP engine family is the fastest-selling in aviation history with more than 10,700 orders to date.