The new LEAP engine from CFM International, the 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran) and GE, has passed the milestone of 10,000 orders and commitments.
The LEAP engine has already been selected by the world's leading planemakers for their new-generation single-aisle commercial jets: the LEAP-1A for the Airbus A320neo, the LEAP-1B for the Boeing 737 MAX, and the LEAP-1C for the Comac C919.
A successor to the CFM56, the best-selling aircraft engine in the world, with over 29,000 delivered to date, the LEAP will enter revenue service this year on the A320neo. In November 2015, the LEAP-1A was certified simultaneously by EASA (Europe) and the FAA (United States). The LEAP-1B and LEAP-1C versions will be certified in the coming months.
"The LEAP's all-time sales record clearly reflects our customers' ongoing confidence in us," said Philippe Petitcolin, Chief Executive Officer of Safran. "It's one of today's leading commercial aviation programs, and will make a significant contribution to the development and economic performance of our airline and aircraft manufacturer customers."
The LEAP will offer double-digit improvements in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions versus the best CFM56 engines now in service, along with a drastic drop in noise and NOx (oxides of nitrogen) emissions. All of these technological improvements go hand in hand with CFM's legendary reliability and low maintenance costs.
Target: 2,000 LEAP engines a year by 2020
To support the strong rise in production rates planned by aircraft manufacturers, CFM International is shooting for an unprecedented production rate of 2,000 LEAP engines per year by 2020 – while continuing to produce the CFM56.
Safran is building two new assembly lines dedicated to the LEAP to meet this industrial challenge, alongside the two existing CFM56 lines. These new "pulse lines" are 60 meters long and 20 meters wide (195 x 65 ft), and will each offer production capacity of 500 engines/year, with the ability to assemble all three versions of the engine. The first pulse lines will start running in January 2017, followed by the second in early 2018. Safran will then be able to assemble up to 1,000 engines per year at its Villaroche plant near Paris – an average of more than 4 engines per day!
In line with the traditional workshare arrangements at CFM International, Snecma is responsible for the final assembly of half of all CFM engines, at its Villaroche plant.