On May 2, CFM International froze the design for the Leap-1B engine that is to power Boeing’s 737Max narrowbody and, eventually, the Boeing Business Jets derived from the airliner. The engine manufacturer, which is a joint venture between Snecma and GE, has said it on track to achieve the first full engine test in mid-2014, followed by initial flight testing in 2015 and powerplant certification in 2016. The 737Max is due to enter service in 2017.
The 20,000- to 28,000-pound thrust -1B turbofan has a smaller fan and core than the Leap-1A and -1C engines that CFM is developing for the Airbus A320neo (and by extension the Airbus Corporate Jet) and the Chinese Comac C919, respectively. Design freeze for the -1A and -1C was achieved in June 2012. Manufacturing of the first complete Leap-1A started last month and is on schedule to begin ground testing in September.