CFM International’s LEAP-1C integrated propulsion system was simultaneously awarded Type Certificates by both the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on the 21st of December 2016, paving the way for entry into commercial service on the COMAC C919 aircraft.

CFM claimed that the certification is unique in that it is the only engine manufacturer to gain dual original certification from both agencies, rather than one lead agency issuing a type certification and the second agency validating that certification

Allen Paxson, executive vice president for CFM, said: “Everyone, from the project and engineering teams to manufacturing and our suppliers, has done an incredible job of keeping this program on schedule and building an engine that is delivering everything that we have promised.”

The LEAP engine was officially launched in December 2009 when COMAC selected the LEAP-1C as the sole Western powerplant for its 150-passenger C919 airplane. The engine incorporates a fully integrated propulsion system (IPS).

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On the 21st of November 2016, Air Europa and CFM International celebrated the 30th anniversary of a successful relationship that began in 1986, when the airline launched passenger service with CFM56-3-powered Boeing 737-300 aircraft.
 

Francois Bastin, Executive Vice President for CFM, said: “The LEAP-1C is the only model for which CFM provides a totally integrated propulsion system that includes the engine, nacelle, and thrust reverser. The IPS, along with the pylon developed by COMAC, were all designed in conjunction with each other. As a result, the LEAP-1C features improved aerodynamics, lower weight, and easier maintenance. We think that our customers are going to be pleased with the airplane/ engine combination.”

The LEAP-1C thrust reverser was developed by Nexcelle, a joint venture between Safran Nacelles and GE Aviation’s Middle River Aircraft Systems (MRAS).

The first LEAP-1C engine successfully completed a flight test program in late 2014 on a modified 747 flying testbed at GE facilities in Victorville, California. In November 2015, the first C919 rolled out at COMAC facilities in Shanghai. More recently, COMAC successfully started the engines for the first time in early November 2016, running them for 10 minutes at ground idle power at the company’s Shanghai Pudong International Airport facility.