MIAMI — CFM has received the type certification from both the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its LEAP-1A powerplant, which will power the Airbus A320neo family aircraft.
The certification paves the way for the delivery of the first CFM-equipped A320neo to Turkish budget carrier Pegasus Airlines in mid-2016. The award follows by six months the initial airworthiness certificate issued by both entities for the PW1100G A320neo. Airbus delivered the first of that option to Lufthansa on January 20, after intended launch operator Qatar Airways refused to take delivery of its airliners after operational constraints related to engine startup and taxi times.
The two LEAP-powered A320 assigned to the flight test campaign accumulated over 800 flight hours and 940 flights logged, having achieved the proposed fuel burn and range. The campaign included 150 flight hours completed with the same aircraft in an airline-like environment to ensure operational maturity at entry into service. With the certification of the remaining aircraft/engine variants with LEAP engines to follow in the “coming months,” the neo development fleet will have achieved a combined total of 3,000 flight hours.
Airbus chose the LEAP-1A as an option for the A320neo in December 2010. The engine flew for the first time on the A320neo on May 19, 2015; the second airplane joined the flight test program last September. This past February the LEAP-1A became the first engine to power theA321neo, now undergoing flight tests.
“This key milestone for the A320neo program, and its second engine option—the specially developed LEAP-1A is a double seal of approval by the two major international governing bodies and comes after the A320neo family had successfully accomplished a rigorous program of certification trials,” commented Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Brégier. “We look forward to the entry into service of LEAP-powered models in the very near future.”