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In a special ceremony Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC) rolled out the first C919 airplane. The aircraft is powered by CFM International’s advanced LEAP-1C engine, which is part of the industry’s first integrated propulsion system.
This event paves the way for first flight of the all-new airplane.“It is always a thrill to see a new airplane for the first time,” said Jean-Paul Ebanga, president and CEO of CFM International.CFM is in the midst of the most extensive ground and flight test certification program. 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 6,150 certification ground and flight test hours and 12,400 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 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.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.More information: www.cfmaeroengines.com