LEAP Entry Into Service: proactive approach is key to success
Benoit Vallet / Safran
The innovation-packed LEAP engine has already garnered over 8,900 orders and commitments from almost 50 airlines. Such has been its commercial success that a total of almost 5,000 engines will enter service within five years on a phased basis: the LEAP-1A (which will power the Airbus A320neo) starting from 2016; the LEAP-1B (for the Boeing 737 MAX) from 2017; and the LEAP-1C (on the Comac C919) from 2018.
Meeting operators' expectations
Snecma's MRO teams will be called on to support this unparalleled rate of commissioning. "Our customers are expecting the engine to offer the excellent reliability that is associated with the CFM brand," says Pierre Bry, Snecma's Vice-President - CFM Services. "To help meet this expectation, we have taken a series of steps designed to ensure that the entry-into-service phase is a resounding success." The first challenge was to provide regular, proactive information. "We have held four customer conferences to communicate how we are preparing for the engine's entry into service," explains Stéphane Le Vourc'h, head of the LEAP support department at Snecma. "Two more customer information sessions are slated for 2016." Maintenance publications for the engine will be prepared and distributed on a phased basis to allow operating experience from flight tests to be taken into account.
The second challenge is to ensure that CFM International and its customers are ready – and this requires teamwork. "At least 12 months in advance of entry into service, we will work with each operator to draw up a customized roadmap that sets out key milestones, including spare parts procurement, access to documentation, etc.," says Pascal Piveteau, Snecma's Director of Customer Support. CFM International's test pilots, meanwhile, are already talking to airline pilots about how the LEAP engine affects flight procedures.
Simpler, more responsive support
The third challenge is to simplify our support and services offering, for example by allowing airlines to have their tools made by CFM-approved suppliers, and by providing a single online point of entry for parts orders, warranty issues, etc., in the shape of the new CFM Customer Web Center. The final area of focus concerns training and repairs: programs and facilities at CFM International's three training centers in India, France and the U.S. have been standardized, and on-wing support capabilities have been bolstered to supplement the global network of MRO workshops.
*CFM International is a 50/50 joint company of Snecma (Safran), France and GE of the United States.
- LEAP engine chosen by almost 50 airlines
- Over 8,900 orders and commitments
- Entry into service in 3 phases: LEAP-1A from 2016, LEAP-1B from 2017, LEAP-1C from 2018