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CFM certificates C919 engine ahead of first flight

CFM International has certificated the integrated propulsion system (IPS) for the Leap-1C with the European Aviation Safety Agency and the US Federal Aviation Administration to clear one of the key regulatory hurdles for launching the Comac C919 airliner into commercial service.

Consisting of the engine, nacelle and thrust reverser, the Leap-1C IPS marks the third version of CFM’s latest single-aisle engine family to achieve certification. The Airbus A320neo, powered by the Leap-1A and the rival Pratt & Whitney PW1100G, entered service earlier this year. CFM also received certification for the Leap-1B for the Boeing 737 Max, which remains in development.

“It has been an incredible year for the LEAP program, culminating in the certification of the third model in this engine family,” says Allen Paxson, executive vice-president for CFM.

Comac launched the Leap engine development programme in 2009, with an original entry into service target of 2016. Delays have shifted first delivery to Chinese customers back two years. Comac plans to begin flying the first C919 test aircraft by the end of this year.

The certification milestone comes exactly seven years after Comac announced the selection of the Leap-1C engine for the 130-200 seat airline family.

The Leap-1C shares identical turbomachinery with the Leap-1A engine for the A320neo, differing only in the items that interface with components on the C919 airframe.

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