CFM International completes design freeze for LEAP-1B engine; 15% improvement in specific fuel consumption
CFM International has completed design freeze for the advanced LEAP-1B engine, the exclusive powerplant for the Boeing 737 MAX, paving the way for the first full engine to test in mid-2014. This milestone is effectively the point at which the engine configuration is set, or frozen. This now allows CFM to finalize and release detailed engine design drawings, which it will do over the next six months.
The advanced LEAP engine provides a 15% improvement in specific fuel consumption (SFC) compared to today’s CFM56 engines, along with an equivalent reduction in carbon emissions; NOx emissions that are approximately 50 percent below the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP)/6 limits; and an engine noise signature well below anticipated regulatory limits.
Parts manufacturing for the LEAP-1B engine will then accelerate through year end, leading to build-up of the first engine in early 2014. The LEAP-1B is on schedule for CFM flight testing in 2015 and engine certification in 2016. The 737 MAX is scheduled to enter service in 2017.
Design freeze for the LEAP-1A / LEAP-1C variants was achieved in June 2012. The first full LEAP engine, the LEAP-1A, is currently being built and is on schedule to begin ground testing this fall.
CFM has been conducting component and rig tests on LEAP hardware for more than five years; the program is now moving into an exhaustive engine ground test phase. There are twelve LEAP-1B certification engine builds schedule over the next three years.
Overall, CFM will have a total of 28 certification engine builds and 30 flight test engines across the three LEAP engine models.
The LEAP-1B engine is the result of a six-year collaboration effort with Boeing. The entire turbomachinery and installation are customized to meet the unique requirements of the 737 MAX.
The LEAP engine family is a product of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran) and GE. CFM is the world’s largest commercial aircraft engine supplier, and the company has delivered nearly 25,000 engines to more than 530 operators around the globe. The CFM56 fleet has logged more than 625 million flight hours in the past 30 years as the most reliable engines in the air.