Garuda Indonesia has ordered CFM International’s Leap-1A engines to power the airline’s 10 Airbus A320neo jets. The $220 million deal takes total business for the new Leap turbofan family to nearly 2,450 engines worth $29 billion at list prices. The Leap series will power three aircraft types: the A320neo (Leap-1A), Boeing 737 Max (Leap-1B) and Comac C919 (Leap-1C). The first to enter service will be the -1A on the A320neo in 2016, followed by the -1B and-1C in 2017. Leap certification is scheduled for 2014.
CFM, which is a 50/50 joint venture between Snecma and GE, is heading for a record year with sales standing at $24 billion as of the end of October. The Leap engines offer an improvement in engine efficiency of 15 percent enabled by advances in aerodynamic design, lighter and more durable materials and the latest environmental technologies.
A key feature of the Leap engine is the composite fan blades, made using the resin transfer molding process. A full-scale fan blade-out rig test took place successfully in May and simulated certification requirements. In a video of the testing, the composite fan case suffered no failures, containing all parts without cracking or developing stress defects.
“The amount of blade lost on the second blade was on the order of 10 percent,” said CFM executive vice president Chaker Chahrour. “We typically design for a lot more than that, so we’re quite thrilled.”
Endurance testing of the fan was completed in August, with more than 5,000 cycles logged. More recently the engine’s low-pressure turbine went through extensive rig testing. This validated the airfoil design and blade and vane alignment and, according to Chahrour, “allowed us to improve our confidence factors in the overall design.”
The eCore Demonstrator 2, which includes a 10-stage compressor, Taps 2 combustor and two-stage high-pressure turbine in the Leap configuration, began testing in May and has run more than 100 test hours that included low-speed stalls. Another 50 hours is planned by the end of the year and this will cover high-speed stall parameters.
The engine configuration is frozen, following completion of CFM’s internal Tollgate 3 process. Design freeze of the engine is planned in mid-2012. Testing included more than 2,000 parameters, and the test core was festooned with sensors and wires needed to capture the test data. The eCore Demonstrator 3 build up is planned early next year, in preparation for full Leap engine testing in 2013.
“We have been executing on time 21 entries into service,” said CFM president and CEO Jean-Paul Ebanga. “I think in the history of aviation, this is the first time ever a company was able to do it.”