Development of CFM International’s advanced LEAP-X, an entirely new baseline turbofan engine to power future replacements for current narrow-body aircraft, is continuing on schedule with a target to run the first full demonstrator engine in 2012. The engine could potentially be certified by 2016.This engine will incorporate revolutionary technologies developed over the last three years as part of the LEAP56 technology acquisition program. This advanced new turbofan will reduce the engine contribution to aircraft fuel burn by up to 16% compared to current CFM56 Tech Insertion engines that power Airbus A320 and Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. Additional fuel burn improvements will be achieved once this engine is paired with new aircraft technology.
CFM is currently conducting full-scale fan demonstrator engine tests with the 3-DW RTM fan blades developed as part of Snecma’s MASCOT program. The engine will complete extensive performance ground tests at Snecma facilities in Villaroche, France, before being transported to GE’s outdoor test facility in Peebles, Ohio, for acoustic and crosswind testing. This innovative new composite technology reduces engine weight by approximately 400 pounds and the fan blade count by 25 percent.
The first full core, which is currently in build-up, is scheduled to begin testing by mid-2009. A second core test is also planned.