May 7, 2015
CFM LEAP-1B engine begins extensive flight test program
CFM International initiated flight testing of the LEAP-1B engine on April 29 on a modified 747 flying testbed at GE Aviation Flight Test Operations in Victorville, California. The testing is the next major milestone in a two-year program that will culminate in engine certification in 2016 and delivery of the first Boeing 737 MAX in 2017. The engine behaved well and completed multiple aeromechanical test points at various altitudes during the five-hour, 30-minute first flight. The LEAP-1B engine is the exclusive powerplant for the Boeing 737 MAX family. The first engine began ground testing on June 13th, 2014, three days ahead of the schedule set when the program was launched in 2011.
“With this major engine milestone and the test results to date we continue to be confident that the LEAP-1B-powered 737 MAX will provide our customers with the most fuel efficient, reliable and maintainable airplane in the single-aisle market,” said Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager, 737 MAX program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The 737 MAX is on track to deliver 14% more fuel efficiency than today’s most efficient Next-Generation 737s and 20% more efficiency than the first Next-Generation 737s to enter service.” Over the next several weeks, the flight test program will encompass a comprehensive test schedule that will gauge engine operability, stall margin, performance, emissions, and acoustics. It will also 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 titanium aluminide blades in the low-pressure turbine.