June 18, CFM International announced it has successfully initiated ground testing of the first all-new LEAP-1B engine that will exclusively power the Boeing 737 MAX. CFM ran the engine for the first time June 13, three days ahead of schedule.
The LEAP-1B engine, installed in a test cell at Snecma (Safran) facilities in Villaroche, France, successfully completed a series of break-in runs before reaching full take-off thrust.
“CFM has a proven history of delivering the most reliable, high-performing engines in the single-aisle market,” said Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager, 737 MAX program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The start of testing on the LEAP-1B engine for the 737 MAX demonstrates that we are on track to deliver the most fuel-efficient single-aisle airplane family in the industry in 2017.”
The engine will be on test for the next several weeks, during which time CFM will verify its mechanical operation, operability (stall margin), engine starts and further validate the advanced technologies incorporated in the engine, including the woven carbon fiber composite fan, the Twin-Annular, Pre-Mixing Swirler (TAPS) combustor, ceramic matrix composite shrouds in the high-pressure turbine and the titanium aluminide blades in the low-pressure turbine. The LEAP-1B is specifically optimized for the 737 MAX with a smaller, highly efficient core and benefits from these new technologies.
“We are really excited to have this engine on test. Now that we are running at full power, we can really see what it is capable of,” said Cédric Goubet, executive vice president for CFM. “All of the testing we have done to date has validated the technology choices we made. The LEAP-1B engine will deliver everything we have promised and more.”
The LEAP-1B engine contributes significantly to the 737 MAX’s fuel efficiency improvement. The 737 MAX will be 14 percent more fuel efficient than today’s most efficient Next-Generation 737s – and 20 percent better than the original Next-Generation 737s when they first entered service.
The 737 is more fuel efficient than the A320 today and will be more fuel efficient than the A320neo tomorrow. Airlines operating the 737 MAX will see an 8 percent operating cost per seat advantage over the A320neo.
Later this month CFM will deliver the 10,000th CFM56-7B engine for the Next-Generation 737 making it the best selling engine-airframe combination in history. “The 737 MAX represents the next chapter in this record setting partnership between Boeing and CFM,” said Leverkuhn.