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CFM International LEAP

  (Redirected from CFM International LEAP-X)

The CFM International LEAP is a high-bypass turbofan engine. It is produced by CFM International, a 50-50 joint venture company between GE Aviation of the United States and Safran Aircraft Engines (formerly known as Snecma) of France. It is a modernized replacement for the successful CFM International CFM56, intended to compete with the Pratt & Whitney PW1000G in the single-aisle jetliner market.

CFM LEAP-X (cropped).jpg
Mockup of a LEAP-X, the early code name of the engine
Type Turbofan
National origin France/United States
Manufacturer CFM International
First run 4 September 2013 (LEAP-1A)[1]
13 June 2014 (LEAP-1B)[2]
9 October 2014 (LEAP-1C)[3]
Major applications Airbus A320neo family
Boeing 737 MAX
Comac C919
Number built 100+
Unit cost LEAP-1B: USD14.5 million[4]
Developed from CFM International CFM56



The LEAP's basic architecture includes a scaled-down version of Safran's low pressure turbine used on the GEnx engine. The fan has flexible blades manufactured by a resin transfer molding process, which are designed to untwist as the fan's rotational speed increases. While the LEAP is designed to operate at a higher pressure than the CFM56 (which is partly why it is more efficient), GE plans to set the operating pressure lower than the maximum in order to maximize the engine's service life and reliability. Currently proposed for the LEAP is a greater use of composite materials, a blisk fan in the compressor, a second-generation Twin Annular Pre-mixing Swirler (TAPS II) combustor, and a bypass ratio around 10-11:1. GE is using ceramic matrix composites (CMC) to build the turbine shrouds.[5]

These technological advances are projected to produce 16% lower fuel consumption.[6][7][8] Reliability is also supported by use of an eductor-based oil cooling system similar to that of the GEnx, featuring coolers mounted on the inner lining of the fan duct. According to Aviation Week's article, "The eductor device produces a venturi effect, which ensures a positive pressure to keep oil in the lower internal sump."[9] The engine has some of the first FAA-approved 3D-printed components.[10][11]


side view with cutaways

The LEAP ("Leading Edge Aviation Propulsion")[12] incorporates technologies that CFM developed as part of the LEAP56 technology acquisition program, which CFM launched in 2005.[13] The engine was officially launched as LEAP-X on 13 July 2008.[6] It is intended to be a successor to the CFM56-5B and CFM56-7B.

In total, 28 test engines will be used by CFM to achieve engine certification, and 32 others will be used by Airbus, Boeing and COMAC for aircraft certification and test programs.[1][14] The first engine entering the test program successfully reached and sustained 33,000 lbf (150 kN) of thrust, required to satisfy the highest rating for the Airbus A321neo. The same engine ultimately reached 35,000 lbf (160 kN) of thrust in test runs.[15]

General Electric carried out the first test flight, of a LEAP-1C, in Victorville, California, with the engine mounted on the company's Boeing 747 flying testbed, on October 6, 2014. The -1C version features a thrust reverser equipped with a one piece O-ring replacing a 2 piece door. The thrust reverser is deployed by the O-ring sliding aft, reducing the drag that was induced by the older design and improving efficiency.[16] In April 2015, it was reported that the LEAP-1B was suffering up to a 5% shortfall on its promised reduction in fuel consumption.[17] It obtained its 180 minute ETOPS approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority and the European Aviation Safety Agency on June 19, 2017.[18]


The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) has chosen the LEAP engine for its new COMAC C919 aircraft.[19] The aircraft was due to begin testing in 2016.[20]

On July 20, 2011, American Airlines announced that it planned to purchase 100 Boeing 737 aircraft featuring the LEAP-1B engine.[21] The project was approved by Boeing on August 30, 2011 as the Boeing 737 MAX.[22][23] Southwest Airlines is the launch customer of the 737 MAX with a firm order of 150 aircraft.[24]

CFM International offers its support for the engine, and signed a 15-year Rate per Flight Hour agreement with Loong Air for 20 LEAP-1A at U.S $333 million, or $3039 per engine per day, in contrast with U.S. $138 million for 17 CFM International CFM56 over 12 years or $1852 per engine per day.[25] As a number of A320neo engine for ANA group of Japan was also ordered in 2014, there is a possibility to select the LEAP engine.[26]

In 2016 CFM booked 1,801 orders, LEAP backlog is at more than 12,200 for more than $170 billion U.S. at list price.[27]


In 2016, the engine was introduced in August on the Airbus A320neo with Pegasus Airlines and CFM delivered 77 LEAP.[27] With the 737 MAX introduction, CFM delivered 257 Leaps in the first three quarters of 2017, including 110 in the third: 49 to Airbus and 61 to Boeing, and targets 450 in the year.[28] CFM should produce 1,200 engines in 2018, 1,900 in 2019, and 2,100 in 2020.[29] This is compared to the 1,700 CFM56 produced in 2016.[30]

To cope with the demand, CFM is duplicating supply sources on 80% of parts and even subdivide assembly sites, already shared between GE and Safran: GE assembles its production in Lafayette, Indiana, in addition to its previous Durham, North Carolina, facility. As more than 75% of the engine comes from suppliers, critical parts suppliers pass “run-rate stress tests” lasting two to 12 weeks. Pratt & Whitney acknowledges a production ramp-up bottleneck on its rival PW1100G geared turbofan including a critical shortage of the unique aluminium-titanium fan blade, hitting the Airbus A320neo and the Bombardier CSeries deliveries.[31]


The troubled introduction of the PW1100G is making customers choose it and to power the A320neo it won 396 plane orders compared to 39 from January through early August 2017 : 9% of the LEAP-powered A320neos were out of service for at least one week in July 2017 compared with 46% of those using the GTF, while its market share rose from 55% to 60% in 2016 but 1,523 planes (29%) are still undecided.[32]

Introduction is smooth with the Boeing 737 MAX Leap 1B starting revenue service in May 2017 with Malindo Air with 8 h daily utilization, while the A320neo Leap 1A surpassed 10 h per day by July; Safran discovered a production quality defect on Leap 1B low-pressure turbine disks during assembly for possibly 30 engines and CFM is working to minimize flight-test and customer-delivery disruptions.[33]

In early October 2017, an exhaust gas temperature shift was noticed during a flight and a CMC shroud coating in the HP turbine was seen flaking off in a borescope inspection, creating a leaking gap: eight in-service engines are seeing their coating replaced.[34] Safran provisioned €50 million ($58 million) to trouble-shoot in-service engines, including potentially Leap-1Bs.[28]


Airbus A320neo prototype with LEAP-1A engines.
Model Application[35] Thrust range[35] Introduction[36]
1A Airbus A320neo family 24,500–35,000 lbf (109–156 kN) 2 Aug 2016[37]
1B Boeing 737 MAX 23,000–28,000 lbf (100–120 kN) 22 May 2017[38]
1C COMAC C919 27,980–30,000 lbf (124.5–133.4 kN) 2018 (planned)


18 blades fan
Model LEAP-1A[39] LEAP-1B[40] LEAP-1C[39]
Configuration Twin-spool, high bypass turbofan
Compressor 1 fan, 3-stage LP, 22:1 10-stage HP[41]
Combustor second generation Twin-Annular, Pre-Mixing Swirler Combustor (TAPS II)[35]
Turbine 2-stage HP, 7-stage (-1B: 5-stage) LP[42]
Overall pressure ratio 40:1[41] (50:1, Top-of-Climb)
TSFC ~ -15% (vs. current CFM56 engine)[35]
Fan diameter[41] 78 in (198 cm) 69.4 in (176 cm) 78 in (198 cm)
Bypass ratio (BPR)[41] 11:1 9:1 11:1
Length 3.328 m (131.0 in) [a] 3.147 m (123.9 in) 4.505 m (177.4 in) [b]
Max. Width 2.533–2.543 m (99.7–100.1 in) 2.421 m (95.3 in) 2.659 m (104.7 in)
Max. Height 2.368–2.362 m (93.2–93.0 in) 2.256 m (88.8 in) 2.714 m (106.9 in)
Weight 2,990–3,153 kg (6,592–6,951 lb) (Wet) 2,780 kg (6,130 lb) (Dry) 3,929–3,935 kg (8,662–8,675 lb) (Wet)
Take-Off Thrust -1A23, 24 : 106.80 kN (24,010 lbf)
-1A26 : 120.64 kN (27,120 lbf)
-1A30, 32, 33, 35 : 143.05 kN (32,160 lbf)
-1B28 : 130.41 kN (29,320 lbf) -1C28 : 129.98 kN (29,220 lbf)
-1C30 : 137.14 kN (30,830 lbf)
Max. Continuous -1A23 : 104.58 kN (23,510 lbf)
-1A24 : 106.76 kN (24,000 lbf)
-1A26 : 118.68 kN (26,680 lbf)
-1A30, 32, 33, 35 : 140.96 kN (31,690 lbf)
-1B28 : 127.62 kN (28,690 lbf) -1C28 : 127.93 kN (28,760 lbf)
-1C30 : 133.22 kN (29,950 lbf)
Max. rpm LP : 3894, HP : 19391 LP : 4586, HP : 20171 LP : 3894, HP : 19391
  1. ^ fan case forward flange to turbine rear frame aft flange
  2. ^ fan cowl hinge beam front to centre vent tube end

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "CFM launches a new era as first LEAP engine begins ground testing". CFM International. 2013-09-06. Retrieved 2013-09-07. 
  2. ^ "CFM International démarre le premier LEAP-1B du 737 MAX". Le journal de l'aviation. 2014-06-18. Retrieved 2015-03-05. 
  3. ^ "Leap 1C Engine Tests Continue as Comac's C919 Takes Shape". AIN-Online. 2014-11-10. Retrieved 2016-03-15. 
  4. ^ "ALC finalizes $348 million CFM LEAP-1B engine order" (Press release). CFM. Aug 8, 2017. 
  5. ^ Norris, Guy, Hot blades, Aviation Week & Space Technology, April 27-May 10, 2015, p.55
  6. ^ a b "CFM Unveils New LEAP-X Engine". CFM International. 2008-07-13. Retrieved 2008-07-16. 
  7. ^ New engines: flurry of activity despite downturn
  8. ^ LEAP-X: Redefining Turbofan Engines for Narrowbody Aircraft Archived 2009-10-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Norris, Guy, Pressure testing, Aviation Week and Space Technology, October 28, 2013, p. 43
  10. ^ Dalløkken, Per Erlien (21 April 2015). "Verdens største jetmotor får 3D-printet komponent" [World's biggest jet engine gets 3D-printed component]. Teknisk Ukeblad. Retrieved 22 April 2015. 
  11. ^ GE
  12. ^ LEAP Turbofan Engine, History
  13. ^ CFM Laying the Technology Foundation for the Future. CFM International
  14. ^
  15. ^ Norris, Guy, Pressure testing, Aviation Week and Space Technology, October 28, 2013, pp.42-43
  16. ^ Norris, Guy, Boom time, Aviation Week & Space Technology, October 13, 2014, p.40
  17. ^ "Engine problems aren't Propulsion South Carolina's problem". 
  18. ^ "LEAP engines awarded 180-minute ETOPS certification" (Press release). CFM International. Jun 21, 2017. 
  19. ^ CFM International to provide engines for COMAC's C919
  20. ^ CFM to finish Leap core testing by mid-May
  21. ^ "Boeing and American Airlines Agree on Order for up to 300 Airplanes - Jul 20, 2011". July 20, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
  22. ^ Boeing Confirms Duopoly With Airbus Announcing Re-Engining Of 737. Forbes
  23. ^ Boeing rendering illustrates major changes to 737NE.
  24. ^ "Southwest Airlines Will Become Launch Customer for the New Boeing 737 Max Aircraft - Southwest Airlines Newsroom". December 13, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Zhejiang Loong Air signs RPFH agreement for CFM56-5B engines". Aviation News Ltd. 15 June 2015. 
  26. ^ "Zhejiang Loong Air signs Service agreement for CFM LEAP-1A engines". Aviation News Ltd. 15 June 2015. 
  27. ^ a b "2016 CFM orders surpass 2,600 engines" (Press release). CFM International. 14 February 2017. 
  28. ^ a b Sean Broderick (Oct 31, 2017). "Safran Reveals Leap Turbine Shroud Coating Issue Issue". Aviation Week Network. 
  29. ^ Stephen Trimble (June 19, 2017). "GE ups production target to meet Boeing and Airbus demand". Flight Global. 
  30. ^ Max Kingsley-Jones (November 15, 2016). "CFM quietly confident on Leap production ramp-up". Flight Global. 
  31. ^ "New GE plant highlights CFM ramp-up strategy on Leap". Flight Global. 16 November 2016. 
  32. ^ Rick Clough (22 Aug 2017). "Pratt's $10 Billion Jet Engine Lags GE by 10-to-1 on New Orders". Bloomberg. 
  33. ^ Sean Broderick (Aug 31, 2017). "Issues With Newest Engines Provide Early MRO-Proving Opportunities". Aviation Week Network. 
  34. ^ Stephen Trimble (30 Oct 2017). "CFM reviews fleet after finding Leap-1A durability issue". Flightglobal. 
  35. ^ a b c d "The Leap Engine". CFM international. Retrieved 14 November 2016. 
  36. ^ "CFM To Release A320NEO Leap Engine Final Design By Year-End". Aviation Week. November 7, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
  37. ^ "Pegasus starts flying Leap-1A-powered A320neo". Flight Global. August 2, 2016. Retrieved August 3, 2016. 
  38. ^ "Malindo operates world's first 737 Max flight". Flight Global. May 22, 2017. 
  39. ^ a b "Type Certificate data sheet for LEAP-1A & LEAP-1C Series Engines" (PDF). EASA. 21 December 2016. 
  40. ^ "Type Certificate data sheet for LEAP-1B Series Engines" (PDF). EASA. 4 May 2016. 
  41. ^ a b c d "LEAP Brochure" (PDF). CFM International. May 28, 2013. Retrieved May 7, 2014. 
  42. ^ "Comparing the new technology Narrow-body engines: GTF vs LEAP maintenance costs". Airinsight. November 9, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 

External linksEdit