2008-07-21 - Leap-X unveiledCFM unveils new LEAP-X engine
Neue Triebwerksfamilie vorgestellt<br /> CFM International has launched LEAP-X, an entirely new baseline turbofan engine to power future replacements for current narrow-body aircraft. This engine will incorporate revolutionary technologies developed over the last three years as part of the LEAP56 technology acquisition program.
The first full demonstrator engine is scheduled to run in 2012, and LEAP-X could be certified by 2016. This advanced new turbofan will reduce the engine contribution to aircraft fuel burn by up to 16 percent compared to current CFM56 Tech Insertion engines that power Airbus A320 and Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. Additional fuel burn improvements will be achieved once this engine is paired with new aircraft technology.
CFM International (CFM) is a 50/50 joint venture between Snecma (SAFRAN Group) and General Electric Company. The two parent companies have just signed an agreement renewing their partnership until the year 2040, ensuring that all engines in the 18,000 to 50,000 pound thrust class developed in that timeframe will fall under the CFM umbrella. "When we launched the LEAP56 technology development program in 2005, fuel was at $1.30 a gallon," said Eric Bachelet. "Today, airlines are paying nearly $4.00 a gallon. Our customers are hurting and we are responding. LEAP56 is the single largest investment in technology in our history; we are bringing the full technical and financial resources of our parent companies to bear to give them a solution: LEAP-X. We have set aggressive targets for this engine, and the technology plan is in place to achieve them."
The first full core is scheduled to begin testing next year. Hardware for the core, which features an eight-stage compressor and single-stage turbine, is being produced now and the core is targeted to fire by mid-2009. A second core test is also planned.