GE Aviation Asheville hits major production milestone

GE Aviation Asheville, a leader in delivering Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs) components for commercial aviation applications, celebrated the delivery of its 25,000th CFM International LEAP engine turbine shroud.

Just five years after breaking ground, CMC production at the site is thriving. Shroud production rates for the LEAP program have more than tripled each year since the site opened. Today, these Asheville-produced shrouds have surpassed more than 1.5 million flight hours on the 800+ LEAP engines in commercial airline service.

The LEAP is the world’s best-selling jet engine with a current backlog of more than 15,500 engines — translating to over 300,000 shrouds for the GE Aviation Asheville team to produce.

CMCs are a super material that is as tough as metals, but only one-third as heavy and can operate at 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit — 500 degrees higher than the most advanced alloys. When incorporated in today’s commercial engine, CMC can save millions of dollars annually for airline fleets. A 1 percent reduction in fuel consumption can save more than US$1 million a year for commercial air carriers. This next generation CMC material technology being produced by GE Aviation will improve fuel efficiency at 1 to 2 percent.

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