CFM to build LEAP-X engine in China after C919 deal

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CFM International is looking to establish a Chinese final assembly line for engines, after formally confirming selection of its LEAP-X powerplant as the sole Western engine for the Comac C919 aircraft.

The agreement covers supply of a variant of the engine, designated the LEAP-X1C, with provision of the nacelle and thrust-reverser by the Nexcelle joint venture.

China's AVIC Commercial Aircraft Engine Company has also signed a memorandum of understanding with CFM for an assembly line and engine-test facility.

CFM says that the two sides have set up a team to "evaluate the scope and feasibility" of the plan, and to develop a legal structure for the joint venture.

The C919 is a twin-engined, 150-seat single-aisle aircraft intended to enter service in 2016.

Comac chairman Zhang Qingwei states: "The leading-edge technology incorporated in the engine, coupled with all of the benefits of a completely-integrated propulsion system, will enable us to build a very competitive aircraft for the global market."

CFM describes the agreement as the "next logical step" in its long-running partnership with the Chinese aviation industry.