GE Aviation joint venture gets closer to launch of new LEAP jet engine

Flight testing with aircraft manufacturers is one more step to take before new airplane models, and engines, are ready for airline customers.

Versions of LEAP have now been delivered to aircraft manufacturers Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China Ltd. (COMAC), Boeing and Airbus, according to CFM.

Boeing will debut the LEAP engine on the 737 MAX airplane.

“We have put this engine through thousands of test hours and cycles on the ground and in the air on our own 747 flying testbed and we are thrilled with the results we have achieved,” said Allen Paxson, executive vice president of CFM International, in a written statement.

The LEAP engine is a product of GE Aviation’s joint venture with French company Snecma (a division of Safran) called CFM International.

LEAP will be the first commercial jet engine to contain an additively manufactured part in a critical area as well as materials made from ceramic matrix composites, company officials say. The new technologies mean the engine will be lighter than traditional materials and able to withstand hotter temperatures, which will improve fuel efficiency 15 percent over CFM’s existing engine, according to the company.

Evendale-based GE Aviation together with West Chester Twp.-based CFM employs more than 9,000 people in southwest Ohio.

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