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An on-time certification for the LEAP-1A-powered A320neo with Safran Nacelles’ nacelle system


June 8, 2016

Maintaining the schedule established at program go-ahead five years ago, the Airbus A320neo (new engine option) jetliner with its LEAP-1A turbofan engine – incorporating the nacelle system developed and produced by Safran Nacelles – has been certified, clearing the way for the jetliner’s service introduction this summer.

Approval by European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was issued on May 31, following an extensive flight test campaign.

“This milestone is a confirmation of Safran Nacelles’ ability to meet its commitments as the industrial leader for state-of-the-art nacelle systems,” explained Eric Lecossais, the A320neo Program Director at Safran Nacelles. “We remain on schedule in supporting the LEAP-1A-powered A320neo’s service entry during the coming weeks, as the initial aircraft already are fitted with their powerplants and nacelles, which is to be followed by additional deliveries.”

To achieve the on-time airworthiness certification, two LEAP-1A-powered A320neo aircraft along with one longer-fuselage A321neo version accumulated over 1,000 hours in more than 350 flights performed in Airbus’ flight test campaign. This included 150 flight hours completed with the same aircraft in an airline-like environment to ensure operational maturity at entry into service.

Certification of A319neo and A321neo versions with the LEAP-1A will follow

As a follow-up to the A320neo’s certification with LEAP-1A powerplants, the A319neo and A321neo versions will be certified with LEAP-1A engines in the coming months.

Safran Nacelles has overall responsibility for the nacelle design, production and its integration with the LEAP-1A high-bypass turbofan jet engine, followed by deliveries to Airbus of complete propulsion systems. After its selection by Airbus in 2011, Safran Nacelles has spent the following five years preparing for initial deliveries, the entry-in-service and readying its upswing in output – which will be the fastest and largest production ramp-up in the history of civil aviation. 

Safran Nacelles produces the nacelle system components for Airbus’ A320neo family of jetliners at its various industrial facilities, and currently integrates them with the LEAP-1A propulsion systems at the company’s Colomiers, France podding facility – located near Airbus’ A320 aircraft family production lines at Toulouse. 

A new, purpose-built Safran Nacelles integration facility is being readied at Hamburg, Germany, where Airbus also builds the A320-series jetliners on multiple final assembly lines within the Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport production facility. 

Safran Nacelles is in the process of defining the arrangements for an on-site physical presence in Mobile, Alabama on America's Gulf Coast, which is home to Airbus’ latest A320 family final assembly line.