The Power of the Future
CFM began developing innovative solutions for tomorrow’s engines more than 15 years ago. In 2004, CFM partners Snecma and GE began to examine the opportunity of launching an all-new engine to succeed the CFM56. In 2005 CFM launched LEAP56™, an advanced research & technology program.
LEAP, or Leading Edge Aviation Propulsion, is designed to develop technologies that will deliver improvements going far beyond anything CFM has brought to market to date. In July 2008, Snecma and GE announced that CFM was launching a new engine, LEAP, an entirely new baseline turbofan engine to power the next generation of single-aisle commercial jets.
Compared to CFM56 Tech Insertion models, LEAP will improve fuel efficiency by 15%, cut NOx emissions by 50% and reduce noise by 15 EPNdB.
CFM has chosen a unique advanced fan blade technology, based on a 3-D woven composite using resin transfer molding (RTM), for greater durability and a significant reduction in weight.
The LEAP engine core is being developed through the eCore program. The eCore features an ultra-high-pressure ratio ten-stage high-pressure compressor driven by a two-stage high-pressure turbine. It also incorporates an advanced lean-burn, low-emissions combustor dubbed TAPS II (Twin Annular Pre Swirl), third-generation 3-D aerodynamic design airfoils and a high-pressure turbine with advanced aerodynamics, materials and cooling technology.
In 2009, CFM kicked off tests on a full-scale 3-D woven RTM composite fan, installed on a modified CFM56-5C engine at Snecma’s Villaroche plant near Paris, in a program dubbed MASCOT (Moteur à Aubes de Soufflante en COmposite Taille LEAP). The fan successfully passed all aerodynamic, performance, crosswind and acoustic tests. In 2010, the maturation program proceeded on schedule with the completion of bird strike and fan blade out tests.
At the end of 2009, the first core developed within the scope of the LEAP engine program, eCore1, successfully completed the first phase of testing in a unique altitude test facility in Evendale, Ohio (United States). These tests focused on aerodynamics, performance, aeromechanical response, operability, the TAPS II combustor and system dynamics. Phase 2 was completed in early 2010 and focused on aerodynamic performance, the blades’ aeromechanical properties and their response to vibrations and natural frequencies, and overall operability.
The “production type core”, eCore2, will benefit from very encouraging results collected from these successful tests. eCore2 is slated to start testing in mid-2011.
The LEAP-1C, selected by Comac of China in December 2009 to power the new C919 single-aisle jetliner, will be the first member of the LEAP engine family. It is slated to be certified in 2014.
The LEAP engine was also selected by Airbus in December 2010 as part of its offering for the new A320neo (new engine option). The new airplane/engine combination could enter commercial service by spring 2016.
CFM continues to develop the revolutionary LEAP technologies. In addition to Comac, both Airbus and Boeing will have access to the most advanced technologies in the industry when they decide to introduce their new single-aisle jets. In addition to the next-generation single-aisle jets to be developed by Airbus and Boeing, CFM also supports those manufacturers for any re-engining projects on current jetliners.
Thrust range: 20,000 to 33,000 lb
Applications: A320neo / Boeing 737 MAX / Comac C919