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Nexcelle’s innovative nacelle system is certified with CFM International’s LEAP-1C engine for the COMAC C919 jetliner


Cincinnati, Ohio, December 22, 2016 – This week’s certification of the LEAP-1C engine and its Nexcelle-developed nacelle system marks a key milestone for the Safran/General Electric joint venture in pioneering a new generation of integrated propulsion systems.

The CFM International LEAP-1C will power China’s COMAC C919 jetliner, and includes the first use of Nexcelle’s innovative O-Duct thrust reverser system – which reduces weight, increases thrust reverser efficiency and facilitates engine maintenance.

Certification of the LEAP-1C to CS-E/Part 33 airworthiness standards was signed December 21 in Cologne, Germany by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  

“This certification milestone represents the dedication and professionalism of teams in our two parent companies, GE Aviation’s Middle River Aircraft Systems and Safran Nacelles, which have contributed their know-how and excellence in developing the LEAP-1C’s nacelle system,” said Nexcelle President Kenneth Onderko. “It also marks an aviation industry achievement by providing a truly integrated propulsion system, resulting from the close cooperation of Nexcelle as the nacelle system provider and CFM International as the engine manufacturer.”

The LEAP-1C’s composite O-Duct thrust reverser was developed by Safran Nacelles, with its unique one-piece configuration contributing to a reduced overall structural weight.  The design also removes the flowpath bifurcation of two-piece D-Duct designs found in traditional thrust reversers, thereby increasing thrust reverser efficiency. 

Other advantages are the use of an electrical thrust reverser actuation system (E-TRAS) that drives the O-Duct aftward to its reverse thrust position, replacing heavier hydraulics; as well as the improved engine maintenance resulting from easier access to the LEAP-1C’s engine core and the thrust reverser components.

The twin-engine C919 currently is being readied for its maiden flight in 2017.