Safran is celebrating the delivery of the 100th LEAP-1A propulsion system for the A320neo commercial twinjet. It will be deployed by Air India, the first airline in India to operate the LEAP-1A engine. This major milestone comes less than a year after the first delivery of this propulsion system, comprising the LEAP-1A engine and its nacelle. Two Safran companies contribute to this program, Safran Aircraft Engines, via CFM International (a 50/50 joint company with GE), and Safran Nacelles.
The LEAP-1A offers a 15% reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions and a 50% reduction in NOx (oxides of nitrogen) emissions compared with previous-generation engines. It also meets the most stringent international noise standards. Safran Nacelles has complete responsibility for the nacelle, including design, integration with the engine and delivery of the complete propulsion system to Airbus. These nacelles feature a number of innovative technologies to improve the overall performance of the propulsion system. For example, 60% of the nacelle is made of lightweight composite materials, and latest-generation acoustic treatments mean that the nacelle reduces engine noise by 50%.
CFM plans to produce about 500 LEAP engines in 2017, and expects to reach an annual output of 2,000 engines towards 2020. The LEAP is available in three different versions, chosen for the latest generation of single-aisle commercial jets: LEAP-1A for the Airbus A320neo, LEAP-1B for the Boeing 737 MAX, and LEAP-1C for the COMAC C919.
Safran Nacelles plans to deliver nearly 250 A320neo nacelles to Airbus in 2017.
“By reaching this latest milestone just 11 months after the first delivery, we clearly show Safran’s commitment to this historic production ramp-up, in terms of both our investment and our people’s engagement,” said Philippe Petitcolin, Chief Executive Officer of Safran. “It also proves that Safran meets its promises and has the requisite adaptability, thanks to our control over the entire supply chain, our investments in facilities to modernize the production process and a constant stream of innovations to maintain the outstanding quality of our products and deliver them in record time.”‘
In addition to these unprecedented production rates, Safran Aircraft Engines and Safran Nacelles support airlines during the entry into service of these new aircraft.