Toulouse, France and Hamburg, Germany – On May 31, 2016, the Airbus A320neo received type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for CFM International’s LEAP-1A engine. CFM International is a 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines.
This certification paves the way for the delivery of the first A320neo equipped with this engine type in mid-2016. This award follows by six months the initial certificate of airworthiness received from the EASA and FAA for the A320neo powered by the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM engine option. The first A320neo was delivered Jan. 20, 2016.
Fabrice Brégier, Airbus’ president and chief executive officer said: “This key milestone for the A320neo program, and its second engine option – the specially developed LEAP-1A, is a double seal of approval by the two major international governing bodies and comes after the A320neo family had successfully accomplished a rigorous program of certification trials. We look forward to the entry into service of LEAP-powered models in the very near future.”
"Today's announcement marks another great milestone in the long relationship between CFM and Airbus” said Jean-Paul Ebanga, CFM president and CEO. "We are very proud of what we have accomplished with the LEAP-1A engine together with Airbus. The flight test program has been a big success.”
The engine flew for the first time on the A320neo on May 19, 2015; a second airplane was added in September of last year. The two LEAP-powered aircraft assigned to the flight test campaign have now successfully accumulated more than 1,000 flight hours in more than 350 flights – including 150 flight hours completed with the same aircraft in an airline-like environment to ensure operational maturity at entry into service.
Certification of the remaining aircraft/engine variants with LEAP engines will follow in the coming months. When all flight testing has been completed, the neo development fleet (with both engine options) will have achieved a combined total of 3,000 flight hours.
In February, the LEAP-1A was the first engine to power the A321neo, currently undergoing flight tests. Certification of the remaining aircraft variants with LEAP engines will follow in the coming months.
The LEAP-1A, which powers the Airbus A319neo, A320neo, and the A321neo aircraft, features advanced technology, including 3-D woven carbon fiber composite fan blades and fan case; a unique debris rejection system; 4th generation three dimensional aerodynamic designs; the Twin-Annular, Pre-Swirl (TAPS) combustor featuring additively manufactured fuel nozzles; ceramics matrix composite shrouds in the high-pressure turbine; and titanium aluminide (Ti-Al) blades in the low-pressure turbine.
The A320neo family offers seating from 100 to 240 passengers. Since its launch on Dec. 1, 2010, the A320neo family has received more than 4,500 orders from more than 82 customers.
The LEAP engine family has more than 10,500 orders to date.
Sources: Airbus, CFM International