Boeing, GE and Spirit AeroSystems have completed installation studies for the CFM International Leap-1B engine powering the 737 Max.

GE Aviation CEO David Joyce said for all practical purposes the installation is "nailed down".

Speaking during a dual 747-8F and 777F delivery to Korean Air Cargo in Everett, Washington on 6 February Joyce stated: "It is a very, very nice installation, it is going to be a very unique installation for the 737 Max."

Joyce said CFM's sole-source position on the 737 Max provides it an opportunity to tailor the Leap-1B's installation on the aircraft compared to the baseline mounting that the company is bound to with its Leap-1A on the Airbus A320neo. GE and Snecma's joint venture CFM competes with the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G on the A320neo.

"We're going to take full advantage of the integration we do with Boeing and with Spirit in order to make sure that the overall engineering of the airframe-engine combination is an incredibly efficient integrated propulsion system," said Joyce.

Boeing selected a 173cm (68in) fan for the Leap-1B in November 2011, but industry sources have indicated that the final fan size has expanded to 175cm (68.75in) as the company has refined its configuration.

"The engine is really, really optimised for this airplane in a lot of ways, from the nacelle all the way to the core," he added.

Spirit is responsible for fabricating a majority of the 737's structure, including the fuselage, empennage, wing spars, engine nacelles and pylons.

The airframer aims to deliver a 10-12% improvement in fuel burn on its 737 Max family, and plans to establish its firm configuration in 2013, well ahead of its fourth quarter 2017 service entry with Southwest Airlines.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news