Snecma (Safran), which is developing the LEAP engine with GE through their 50/50 joint company CFM International, has signed an agreement with AFI KLM E&M to carry out engine development tests. The LEAP is the successor to the best-selling CFM56 and has already been chosen for the Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 MAX and Comac C919 single-aisle jets. The LEAP engine will see the highest ramp-up in commercial aviation – reaching a production rate of more than 1 700 engines per year by 2019. To meet this challenge and to conduct all tests required for the LEAP’s development and certification, Snecma needed a trustworthy partner with solid experience. AFI KLM E&M will conduct development tests concurrently with the ambitious test program already being conducted by Snecma and GE: a total of 20 engines to be tested by year-end and 60 engines will be built over the next three years and will accumulate approximately 40,000 cycles before entry into service.
AFI KLM E&M, a partner in aviation R&D
This latest contract positions AFI KLM E&M as a partner for the aircraft manufacturing industry. The 5-year contract covers engine tests as part of the LEAP development and certification program. The tests will be carried out on AFI KLM E&M’s Phenix test cell at Roissy-CDG, by engineers and technicians from the MRO in coordination with Snecma. This particular test cell became available after AFI KLM E&M inaugurated its brand-new Zephyr jet engine test cell in 2012. Prior to the start of testing, the test cell will be upgraded and adapted to ensure compliance with the special requirements of development testing procedures.
The first tests are scheduled for the last quarter of 2014. Anne Brachet, Executive Vice President, Air France Industries, said: “This agreement, the first of its type for AFI KLM E&M, demonstrates our ability to adapt to the expectations of all our clients. We drew up a proposal aligned with Snecma’s requirements under very tight deadlines, based on the quick and long-term availability of the test system.”
“We are delighted to work with such an experienced partner as AFI KLM E&M for the tests of our new LEAP engine” added Jacques Serre, Snecma Vice President Engineering and Technology. “Our decision to choose AFI KLM E&M was based on the successful development of their latest Zephyr test cell and on their capacity to propose a dedicated test cell optimized for our needs”.