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Nexcelle provides the first components for LEAP-1C engine for the COMAC C919 jetliner

News International-French

10 Feb 2014

The joint venture of Aircelle (Safran) and GE Aviation’s Middle River Aircraft Systems for a new generation of engine nacelles on integrated propulsion systems – has delivered its first O-Duct nacelle to equip CFM International’s LEAP-1C engines for the COMAC C919 jetliner.

“Innovation is an important element in Nexcelle’s development of new engine nacelles, and the O-Duct is an example of how our approach to more integrated propulsion systems will benefit aircraft manufacturers and airline operators,” said Nexcelle President Michel Abella.

Developed and manufactured by Aircelle, this innovative O-Duct marks a milestone in Nexcelle’s production hardware deliveries, and is to be used – together with other nacelle components – for engine flight test.
Nexcelle has also delivered the first LEAP-1C air inlet from Middle River. The hardware has been installed on a LEAP development engine currently undergoing tests.

The one-piece composite O-Duct delivered by Nexcelle is a technology breakthrough in nacelle design for integrated propulsion systems, replacing a traditional thrust reverser’s two-piece “D” doors. When deployed, the O-Duct moves aftward to the reverse thrust position, eliminating drag links in the engine’s secondary flow-path, enhancing the airflow path and improving fuel consumption, while also increasing thrust reverser efficiency.

A key feature of the O-Duct is its single-piece, 330-deg. carbon composite inner skin, which is produced at Aircelle’s Le Havre, France manufacturing facility using an innovative molding process employed for the first time on this program. The milestone no. 1 O-Duct is now at GE Aviation’s Peebles, Ohio facility, for built-up with the other nacelle components prior to installation on the CFM flight test aircraft.

Aircelle and Middle River Aircraft Systems will be building the equivalent of 18 initial nacelle shipsets, to be used as complete nacelles for flight testing, and as separate components in such applications as ground-based icing and crosswind testing.

Created in 2008, Nexcelle has been selected to supply the nacelle systems for two major engine programs: the CFM International LEAP-1C for COMAC’s C919 jetliner, and the GE Aviation Passport for Bombardier’s Global 7000 and Global 8000 business aircraft.

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