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Safran and Albany inaugurate a plant for 3D Woven RTM composite aircraft engine parts

News International-French

1 Apr 2014

Jean-Paul Herteman, Chairman and CEO of Safran, and Joseph Morone, President and CEO of Albany International Corp., inaugurated a new plant in Rochester, New Hampshire that will produce composite parts for aircraft engines.

The inauguration ceremony was held in the presence of representatives of the US and French governments, including New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Senator Kelly Ayotte, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, Rochester Mayor T.J Jean, François Delattre, the Ambassador of the French Republic in the US, and Fabien Fieschi, Consul General of France.

The Rochester operations of Safran and Albany International are located at a new complex, about 300,000 sq. ft. large, located in the Granite State Business Park. The plant, which opened in 2013, was built to produce 3D woven composite parts using RTM technology for aircraft engine parts. The first application will be fan cases and fan blades for CFM International’s LEAP engine (CFM International is a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran) and GE), dedicated to the next-generation single-aisle aircraft. A total of 130 people currently are employed at the joint operation, with a total of 400-500 envisioned when full-rate production is attained.

The foundation of the LEAP engine is deeply rooted in advanced aerodynamics, environmental and materials technologies. Particularly strong and lightweight, the 3D woven RTM composite parts produced by Safran and Albany will contribute strongly to provide 15 percent better fuel efficiency compared to today’s best CFM engine. Selected to power new and improved narrow-body commercial aircraft including the Boeing 737 MAX and the Airbus A320neo, the LEAP engine has achieved broad-based market acceptance with more than 6,000 engines ordered to date.

Safran and Albany have made significant investments in the Rochester plant, which features a state-of-the-art industrial design, and the two companies are also building a similar plant in Commercy (France) that will produce the same advanced composites parts for the LEAP engine. The Commercy plant will start operations mid-2014.

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