In a special ceremony here, CFM International and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC) celebrated delivery of the first CFM LEAP-1C engine to the aircraft manufacturer. This engine will be installed on the first C919 airplane in preparation for airplane roll out and first flight.
The LEAP engine was officially launched in December 2009 when COMAC selected the LEAP-1C as the sole Western powerplant for its 150-passenger C919 airplane. The engine incorporates a unique, industry-first fully integrated propulsion system (IPS). CFM provides the engine as well as the nacelle and thrust reverser developed by Nexcelle*. These elements, including the pylon provided by COMAC, were designed in conjunction with each other, resulting in a total system that provides improved aerodynamics, lower weight, and easier maintenance.
CFM is executing the most extensive ground and flight test certification program in its history. There are currently a total of more than 30 LEAP engines (all three models) on test or in final assembly and the program has logged a total of more than 4,730 certification ground and flight test hours and 7,900 cycles. The total program, which encompasses all three LEAP engine variants, includes 28 ground and CFM flight test engines, along with a total of 32 flight test engines for aircraft manufacturers.
The first LEAP-1C engine successfully completed a flight test program in late 2014 on a modified 747 flying testbed at GE facilities in Victorville, California. The flight-test program encompassed a comprehensive test schedule that gauged engine operability, stall margin, performance, emissions, and acoustics. It also validated the advanced technologies incorporated in the engine, including the woven carbon fiber composite fan, the Twin-Annular, Pre-Mixing Swirler (TAPS) combustor, ceramic matrix composite shrouds in the high-pressure turbine and titanium aluminide blades in the low-pressure turbine.
C919 airplane development has entered a critical phase and final assembly of the first airframe structure is nearly complete. The wind tunnel test, iron-bird test, avionics integration, and power system tests are all progressing well. With the delivery of the first LEAP-1C engine and the hydraulic systems, the installation of the airborne systems will begin soon. The first C919 is scheduled to roll out before the end of 2015.