CFM’s LEAP Takes First Flight

CFM International’s LEAP engine has successfully completed its first test flight. The new engine flew for three hours on Monday (October 6) on a modified 747 from GE Aviation’s flight test centre in Victoria, California. CFM has opted to test the LEAP-1C variant first, which will power the COMAC C919 and CFM claims is the first commercial aviation engine to boast an integrated propulsion system of engine, nacelle and thrust reverser. Chief test pilot Steven Crane said the LEAP-1C behaved “like a real veteran”. The test flight saw the engine put thorough several aeromechanical tests at a number of altitudes. Over the coming week the engine will undergo further tests to gauge operability, stall margin, performance and acoustics. In total, CFM is building 28 ground and flight test engines for itself and a further 32 test engines for Airbus, Boeing and COMAC. The OEM says it is confident that all three variants of the LEAP will be certified in 2015. MRO AFI KLM E&M confirmed this week that it has signed an agreement with Snecma to perform some of the development tests for the LEAP.  

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