The Airbus A320neo has successfully performed its first test flight with CFM International LEAP-1A engines.
On May 19, a flight-test Airbus A320neo performed a four-hour, 25-minute flight powered by two LEAP-1A engines.
According to CFM International, which is a 50-50 joint venture between GE Aviation and France’s Snecma, the flight test occurred on schedule and the engines performed “extremely well throughout the flight envelope”.
The airframe-engine combination of the A320neo and the CFM International LEAP-1A engine is due to enter commercial service in 2016.
However, the first customer A320neo is due to enter service with Qatar Airways in November this year, powered by the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM, the alternate engine choice for the Airbus A320neo family.
According to CFM International, the LEAP-1A is on track for joint U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency certification to support the A320neo/LEAP-1A combination’s entry into service next year.
Nearly 60 per cent of the required engine certification reports have been submitted and approved to date, accoridng to CFM International.
The LEAP-1A was chosen as a powerplant for the A320neo in December 2010.
Since then, CFM International has garnered orders and commitments for 2,508 LEAP-1A engines, representing 55 per cent of the orders to date of A320neo-family aircraft for which an engine selection has been made.
There are currently a total of more than 30 LEAP engines (of all three models, including the LEAP-1B which will power the Boeing 737 MAX family and the LEAP-1C which will power China’s COMAC C919) on test or in final assembly.
The LEAP program has logged a total of more than 3,660 certification test hours and 5,460 test cycles to date.
Its LEAP program is the most extensive ground and flight test certification program in CFM Internation al’s history. 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 the aircraft manufacturers.
Over a three-year span, these engines will accumulate approximately 40,000 engine cycles leading up to entry into service. By the time the LEAP engine enters commercial service, CFM calculates it will have simulated more than 15 years of airline service with 60 different engine builds.
CFM International has delivered nearly 28,000 engines to date. All of them are of the CFM56 family, the world’s most successful commercial-turbofan engine production program.