Engine manufacturer CFM International (Stand G23) plans to test 15 Leap engines this year as part of a development program leading to certification of the Leap-1A for the Airbus A320neo next year. Also part of the program, the Leap 1B and -1C versions are to power the upgraded Boeing 737 Max and the new Comac C919 narrowbodies, respectively. The engine’s designers promise a 15-percent fuel burn advantage over the current CFM56.
Photos have appeared on Chinese websites of an Ilyushin Il-76 testbed fitted with a large high-bypass ratio turbofan under the port inner pylon.
What turned out to be a big week for Boeing with the formal launch of its new 777X widebody also promises to be a big week for the engine that will power it, the GE9X. Dubai Airshow visitors can get a sneak preview of the 102,000-pound thrust turbofan through a new 3-D representation of the equipment at the GE Aviation exhibit (Chalet A9).
In May this year the French-U.S. joint venture CFM International delivered the 25,000th example of its CFM56 turbofan, which powers Boeing Next-Generation 737s and the Airbus single-aisle family. Last month the 10,000th CFM56-7B for the 737 family was delivered, while next month deliveries of CFM56-5s for Airbus will pass 8,500. As well as these two influential single-aisle aircraft lines, the CFM56 also powers the Airbus A340-200/300.
CFM International announced on the eve of the show that it had closed the sale of Leap-1A engines to Pegasus Airlines for its Airbus A320neo/A321neo orders. The Snecma-GE joint venture also gave an update on Leap-1A testing. Separately, the French state has announced a divestiture of at least 3.6 percent of shares in Safran (Snecma’s parent company).
EADS has set itself an ambitious target for its E-Thrust hybrid propulsion concept, a joint effort with British engine maker Rolls-Royce that went relatively unnoticed when it was revealed at the Paris Air Show in June. The E-Airbus, under its new moniker, is to enter into service in 2030 as a 100-seat regional aircraft.
Rolls-Royce (R-R) has completed a 1,500-cycle test of its new Trent 1000-TEN engine and is well into the demonstration phase ahead of formal testing in early 2014, according to T1000 program chief engineer Gareth Jones. In mid-October, the initial demonstrator unit was being stripped down in R-R’s development department as the company prepared to assemble a second test engine.
Snecma is about to carry out further tests on a one-fifth scale model of an open rotor engine, in a research and technology effort that epitomizes how laborious developing a new commercial engine concept can be.
Boeing has increased its estimate of the operating performance of the 737 Max, saying the re-engined narrowbody will burn 14 percent less fuel than the current 737NG consumes. In July, the manufacturer said the 737 Max with new CFM Leap-1B turbofans will be 13 percent more fuel efficient.