Leap Powered A320Neo Wins EASA/FAA Certification

 - May 31, 2016, 12:21 PM
The first two Leap-powered A320neos accumulated 1,000 hours in the air during 350 flights. (Photo: Airbus)

The CFM Leap-1A-powered Airbus A320neo received type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), allowing for first delivery to Turkey's Pegasus Airlines in mid-2016, Airbus announced Tuesday. The award follows by six months the initial airworthiness certificate issued by the EASA and FAA for the A320neo powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100G geared turbofans. Airbus delivered the first of that option to Lufthansa Airlines on January 20, after original launch customer Qatar Airways balked at early operating restrictions related to time between engine starts.

The two Leap-powered aircraft assigned to the flight-test campaign have now accumulated more than 1,000 flight hours during more than 350 flights, including 150 flight hours with the same aircraft in an airline-like environment to ensure operational maturity at entry into service. Certification of the remaining aircraft/engine variants with Leap engines will follow in the “coming months,” said Airbus. Once Airbus completes all flight testing, the Neo development fleet will have achieved a combined total of 3,000 flight hours.

Airbus chose the Leap-1A as an option for the A320neo in December 2010. The engine flew for the first time on the A320neo on May 19, 2015; the second airplane joined the flight test program last September. This past February the Leap-1A became the first engine to power the A321neo, now undergoing flight tests.

“This key milestone for the A320neo program, and its second engine option—the specially developed Leap-1Ais a double seal of approval by the two major international governing bodies and comes after the A320neo family had successfully accomplished a rigorous program of certification trials,” commented Airbus president and CEO Fabrice BrĂ©gier. "We look forward to the entry into service of Leap-powered models in the very near future.”