MIAMI – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will require inspections of high-pressure turbines (HPTs) on certain CFM International Leap-1A turbofans.
The crux of the problem is that a ‘manufacturing quality escape’ that affects HPT cases could result in uncontained engine failures, the FAA stated, in a proposed aviation directive published on March 24.
The FAA’s proposed regulations state, “Several x-rays of the HPT case’s bleed ports indicated 148 sections with incompatible signs, eight of which were important enough to affect the HPT case’s life.”
It goes on to say that the problem could lead to “overheating of the HPT mid-seal and uncontained rotor failure.” The Leap-1A turbofans power the Airbus A320neo-family aircraft.
Not a New Issue
Operators would be required to remove and replace affected HPT cases under the proposal. It mentions that CFM released a similar service bulletin in October 2020, outlining the process for replacing affected HPT instances. According to the FAA, the problem only affects eight engines in use by US airlines.
Flight Global reports that the proposal, according to CFM, “mandates suggestions already stated in the service bulletin,” and “none of the impacted sections has exceeded their life limits.”
“As a result of this problem, there have been no operational disruptions or unserviceable conditions,” CFM adds. ”Our top priority is flight safety, and CFM has been constructive in working with regulators and passengers to solve this issue.”
CFM International is a joint venture between GE Aviation, a division of General Electric of the United States, and Safran Aircraft Engines (formerly known as Snecma), a division of Safran of France.
Featured image: The LEAP-1A was tested on GE’s 747-400 flying test platform. Photo: By JBabinski380 – https://www.flickr.com/photos/60980020@N03/15271002736, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40268261