LEAP: DEVEL­OP­MENT TIME­LINE

SP's Aviation - - CIVIL -

June 17

At the Paris Air Show, CFM launches the LEAP56 tech­nol­ogy devel­op­ment pro­gramme.

July 13

CFM launches the LEAP-X en­gine, promis­ing a 16 per cent im­prove­ment in fuel ef­fi­ciency by 2016 at the Farnborough Air­show.

Jan­uary

Ground test be­gins of a full-scale 3-D wo­ven RTM LEAP fan as part of the MAS­COT pro­gramme.

May

Rig tests of the ul­tra-high-ef­fi­ciency LEAP low-pres­sure tur­bine yield out­stand­ing re­sults.

Novem­ber

The first build of the LEAP core, dubbed eCore Demo 1, com­pletes test­ing.

De­cem­ber 21

COMAC selects what would be­come the LEAP-1C as the sole West­ern pow­er­plant for its new C919 air­plane.

June 14

The LEAP pro­gramme is of­fi­cially launched with an or­der for 60 engines from Vir­gin Amer­ica.

June

eCore Demo 2 be­gins ground test­ing ahead of sched­ule.

Au­gust 30

Boe­ing ap­proves the launch of the Boe­ing 737 MAX with the LEAP-1B as the sole pow­er­plant.

June 18

The first LEAP-1B en­gine be­gins ground test­ing in Vil­laroche, France, three days ahead of sched­ule.

Oc­to­ber 6

The first LEAP en­gine takes to the skies for flight test­ing aboard a mod­i­fied 747-100 fly­ing test­bed.

Septem­ber 4

The first full LEAP-1A/-1C en­gine be­gins ground test­ing in Pee­bles, Ohio, two days ahead of sched­ule.

Jan­uary 12

The LEAP-1A be­gins flight test on a mod­i­fied 747-400 fly­ing test­bed.

April 29

The LEAP-1B be­gins flight tests on a mod­i­fied 747-100 fly­ing test­bed.

May 19

The LEAP-1A takes off on its first flight pow­er­ing the Air­bus A320­neo.

Novem­ber 20

The LEAP-1A re­ceives joint FAA/EASA en­gine cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

June 4

The LEAP-1B re­ceives joint FAA/ EASA en­gine cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

July 21

First A320­neo with LEAP-1A engines de­liv­ered to Pe­ga­sus Air­lines.

De­cem­ber 21

LEAP-1C engines re­ceive FAA and EASA joint cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

Jan­uary

LEAP or­ders sur­pass the 10,000 en­gine mark.

May 31

The LEAP-1A-pow­ered A320­neo re­ceives joint FAA/ EASA air­craft cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

March 1 March 9 April 3

First LEAP-1A-pow­ered A319­neo makes maiden flight.

April 13

First LEAP-1B-pow­ered Boe­ing 737 MAX 9 takes to the skies.

April 20

Vir­gin Amer­ica takes de­liv­ery of first LEAP-1A-pow­ered A321­neo. A321­neo with CFM LEAP-1A engines re­ceives joint EASA/ FAA cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Boe­ing 737 MAX 8 with CFM LEAP-1B engines re­ceives FAA cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

May 5

LEAP-1C-pow­ered COMAC C919 com­pletes suc­cess­ful maiden flight.

May 23

Malindo Air be­comes the world’s first air­line to op­er­ate LEAP-1B engines.

2018. Un­der the re­cent $12.50 bil­lion SpiceJet-CFM deal, LEAP engines are to be sup­plied to power the air­line’s grow­ing fleet of Boe­ing 737 MAX as well as spare engines to sup­port the fleet. The air­line also signed a 10-year rate per flight hour (RPFH) agree­ment with CFM that cov­ers all LEAP-1B engines pow­er­ing their air­planes, giv­ing them a 15 per cent re­duc­tion in fuel con­sump­tion and CO2 emis­sions ver­sus cur­rent engines, a 50 per cent cut in NOx emis­sions (Ni­tro­gen Ox­ides), and com­pli­ance with strin­gent noise stan­dards.

RPFH agree­ments is a flex­i­ble af­ter­mar­ket sup­port of­fered by the en­gine mak­ers ac­cord­ing to which CFM guar­an­tees maintenance costs for all SpiceJet’s LEAP-1B engines on a payby-the-hour ba­sis.

MAKE IN IN­DIA BOOST

The no-frills car­rier SpiceJet has been a long-time cus­tomer of CFM and the ` 81,000 crore deal is one of the biggest in the his­tory of the In­dian civil avi­a­tion in­dus­try. Ajay Singh, Chair­man and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, SpiceJet, said in a state­ment, “The CFM56 engines we cur­rently op­er­ate have been a highly val­ued as­set for us over the years. From what we have seen so far, the LEAP-1B is liv­ing up to its prom­ises for ef­fi­ciency and re­li­a­bil­ity. We hope they pro­vide us un­matched ser­vice re­li­a­bil­ity while keeping our costs in check to en­sure profitable oper­a­tions.”

In­ter­est­ingly, GE part­nered with the Tata Group last year to man­u­fac­ture tur­bo­fan en­gine com­po­nents for the LEAP se­ries engines. Cash­ing in on the buzz­word of the mo­ment, ‘Make in In­dia’, un­der this part­ner­ship, a man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity has also been set up in Adi­batla, Hyderabad to de­liver high pre­ci­sion aero­engine com­po­nents for the CFM LEAP en­gine.

Also, Safran an­nounced the open­ing of a fac­tory to man­u­fac­ture elec­tri­cal wiring in­ter­con­nec­tion sys­tems based in Hyderabad when the French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron vis­ited In­dia re­cently. A sub­sidiary of Safran spe­cial­is­ing in elec­tri­cal sys­tems, is also work­ing to de­liver the first “Made in In­dia” LEAP elec­tric har­nesses des­tined for the nar­row-body air­craft mar­ket. The fac­tory will also meet the needs of other Safran pro­grammes in the re­gion as well as the ex­ist­ing Euro­pean and US mar­kets. The CFM Train­ing Cen­tre in Hyderabad will sup­port cus­tomers of both the LEAP-1A and LEAP-1B engines through­out In­dia, the Mid­dle East and Far East air­lines. This cen­tre, which has the ca­pac­ity to train 500 engi­neers an­nu­ally mir­rors those al­ready in China, France and the United States.

FULL THRUST AHEAD

The air­line has a 60 air­craft strong fleet con­sist­ing of 38 Boe­ing 737 and 22 Bom­bardier Q400. The Boe­ing 737 Next Gen­er­a­tion fleet is cur­rently pow­ered by CFM56-7B engines by the same man­u­fac­turer. The LEAP-1B or­ders are for the ben­e­fit of their Boe­ing 737 MAX air­craft that are touted to be one of ‘the new­est and most tech­no­log­i­cally-ad­vanced’ car­rier in the busi­ness at the mo­ment. Be­ing fuel-ef­fi­cient as well as de­signed to be 40 per cent qui­eter than SpiceJet’s cur­rent Boe­ing Nex­tGen air­craft, the lat­est 737 MAX is slated to cut down fuel costs of SpiceJet by about 15 per cent, while en­gi­neer­ing and maintenance costs are ex­pected to come down by 10-15 per cent.

The air­line is set to re­ceive the first de­liv­ery of their lat­est Boe­ing ac­qui­si­tions by Au­gust this year and an­other 14 by March 2019. The SpiceJet-Boe­ing deal, that is on the sale and lease­back model, was val­ued at a cur­rent list price of $4.74 bil­lion; but the ac­tual amount to be paid will be much lower as Boe­ing is known to give heavy dis­counts for bulk sales.

Mean­while, even on the en­gine front, SpiceJet has struck a sweet deal un­der which the air­line will pay a flat fee and Safran will look af­ter all the maintenance of engines for the next ten years. The de­liv­ery is slated from Au­gust on­wards and is ex­pected to help the air­craft longer by reducing fuel burn and op­er­a­tional costs. “It will help us re­duce our over­all cost of oper­a­tions and there­fore it will in­crease mar­gins for SpiceJet. It will help us be more com­pet­i­tive in the mar­ket place,” Singh told PTI in an in­ter­view. And that’s not all. Boe­ing and en­gine maker CFM have also said that the LEAP-1B “is on track to de­liver 14 per cent more fuel ef­fi­ciency” com­pared with cur­rent 737 planes, in line with tar­gets. It should be noted that initially, in 2015, Aspire Avi­a­tion re­ported that the LEAP-1B has a per­for­mance short­fall of four to five per cent in spe­cific fuel con­sump­tion (SFC). Ac­cord­ing to ex­perts the five per cent short­fall in­di­cates some­thing be­ing fun­da­men­tally wrong with some com­po­nents of the en­gine, which are per­form­ing far be­low ex­pec­ta­tions. How­ever, ac­cord­ing to a Reuters re­port, a se­nior of­fi­cial with the en­gine man­u­fac­turer de­scribed the short­fall spec­u­la­tion as “ab­so­lutely false,” while an­other in­dus­try source fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter said talk of a short­fall was in­ac­cu­rate.

SpiceJet cur­rently con­trols 14.48 per cent of the do­mes­tic air travel mar­ket share in In­dia and the re­cent de­vel­op­ments may just im­prove these num­bers.

SpiceJet cur­rently con­trols 14.48 per cent of the do­mes­tic air travel mar­ket share in In­dia and the re­cent de­vel­op­ments may just im­prove these num­bers

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