Two study contracts have been placed with industry after last week’s Anglo-French agreement on further exploration of a joint UCAV development. BAE Systems, together with Dassault Aviation, and Rolls-Royce with Snecma will work on the demonstration program preparation phase (DPPP) of the proposed future combat air system (FCAS). The value and duration of the work were not stated.
Dassault has begun cutting metal for its still-under-wraps Falcon super-midsize (SMS) business jet. The first parts reportedly are being manufactured for testing purposes at its Argenteuil factory northwest of Paris.
A cockpit subassembly will be used for bird-strike trials, and leading-edge slats will undergo de-icing tests. In addition, a testbed is being readied for the fuel system.
The problems with the A400M’s TP400-D6 turboprop engine that caused the airlifter to be scratched from this week’s Farnborough International flight demonstrations will slow civil certification and first delivery of the aircraft, but are not expected to delay its entry into service with the French air force next year. Production aircraft do not have the same issues.
The aero-acoustic geometry fan blades, fan case and several other parts of CFM International’s Leap engine series will be the first major engine application of a new technology, 3-D woven composites. The process was pioneered by Albany Engineering Composites (AEC), a U.S. company that has teamed with CFM parent company Snecma and has granted the French engine maker exclusivity for its process (for propulsion applications) for the life of the Leap program.
Few expected CFM International to match its record sales campaign of 2011 this year, but after his company sold 900 engines through the first six months of 2012, one might excuse company chief executive Jean-Paul Ebanga for a moment to allow him to catch his breath.
CFM International remains on track with development process of the Leap series of engines that it laid out four years ago. The 50/50 partnership between General Electric and Safran subsidiary Snecma announced it has recently frozen the designs for its new Leap 1A and 1C engines destined for use on the Airbus A320neo and the Chinese Comac C919 narrowbody airliners, which are scheduled to enter service in 2016.
Snecma America Engine Services (Sames) has moved into a new 162,000-sq-ft facility in Querétaro, Mexico, to provide services for the CFM56-5A and -5B engines that power the Airbus A320 series. The MRO plans to add the CFM56-7B used on the Boeing 737 NG in the near future.
Now that its 11,000-pound-thrust Silvercrest turbofan has a launch application–the Cessna Citation Longitude–Snecma can get serious about engine certification efforts. Flight testing of the engine is due to start in the first half of 2013 using a Gulfstream GII as a testbed, with engine certification pegged for 2015, the French company said yesterday at EBACE.
Snecma has finally found an aircraft for its Silvercrest engine to power after Cessna announced its selection here yesterday for its Longitude super-midsize jet, which is scheduled to enter service in 2017. It has been almost five years since the French manufacturer announced that it was to develop its first business-jet engine program, but finding its first application has proved to be a frustratingly long road.
Six months after launching its midsize Citation Latitude, Cessna (Stand 7081) announced at EBACE this morning that it will offer a $25.9 million (2012 dollars) stretched version–the “Longitude–that can fly 4,000 nm at Mach 0.82.