Airbus A320neo Takes Flight with New CFM LEAP-1A Engines

  • May 21, 2015 12:35pm GMT
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CFM recently released a new class of engines for use in both Airbus and Boeing single-aisle aircraft. Their most powerful, LEAP-1A engine took flight for the first time on May 19th, 2015 powering an Airbus A320neo into the skies above Toulouse, France.

A breakdown of CFM's engines is as follows:

  • LEAP-1A: 24,500 – 32,900 POUNDS THRUST
  • LEAP-1B: 23,000 – 28,000 POUNDS THRUST
  • LEAP-1C: 27,980 – 30,000 POUNDS THRUST

The CFM LEAP family represents the engines of choice for the next-generation single-aisle aircraft. The LEAP-1A is an option on the Airbus A320neo; the LEAP-1B is the exclusive powerplant for the Boeing 737 MAX; and the LEAP-1C is the sole Western powerplant for the COMAC C919. These engines had garnered more than 8,000 operates from more than 50 customers across the globe..

According to CFM's specifications, their LEAP Engines ensure with confidence the ability to deliver a 15% improvement in fuel efficiency, as compared to the CFM56-7BE, while maintaining the same level of dispatch reliability and life-cycle maintenance costs as the CFM56-7BE. With its simple architecture and $2 billion annual investment in technology, the LEAP engine family offers the lowest cost and highest revenue-generating ability, saving an estimated nearly $3 million per plane.

Two engine families have contributed significantly to the design of the LEAP engine, the CFM56 and the GE90/GEnx series of engines. The GE90/GEnx contributed the high-efficiency core architecture to minimize fuel consumption, while the CFM56 legacy drove reliability and maintenance cost design practices. At entry into service in 2017, it is estimated that the GE90/GEnx architecture will have generated 80 million flight hours of revenue service, while the CFM56 family will have over 700 million flight hours of experience. The LEAP engine family offers proven, material advantages over any other engine, with 550,000 hours of proven experience with 99.98% reliability, and 22,000 engines delivered on-time and on-spec.

And in case you were wondering, CFM is not an acronym, so it doesn't stand for anything. The company (CFM), and product line (CFM56), got their names by a combination of the two parent companies' commercial engine designations: GE's CF6 and Snecma's M56.