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CFM gains approval for VIP narrowbody Leap models

European safety regulators on 30 May approved four new sub-variants of the CFM International Leap engine series that will power VIP versions of Airbus and Boeing's re-engined narrowbodies.

Certification data released by the European Aviation Safety Agency identifies the two variants of the Leap-1A as the -1A26CJ and -1A29CJ, with respective take-off performance ratings of 26,966lb-thrust (120kN) and 29,213lb-thrust.

The engines will power the Airbus ACJ319neo and ACJ320neo; the airframer has yet to launch a VIP version of the A321neo.

In May, Airbus Corporate Jets revealed that the initial ACJ320neo would enter final assembly later this month.

Power for Boeing's BBJ Max aircraft will be provided by the Leap-1B28BBJ1 and -1B28BBJ2, rated at 29,303lb-thrust and 28,022lb-thrust respectively, the EASA data shows.

Boeing Business Jets will produce three variants of the VIP aircraft: the BBJ Max 7, 8 and 9.

Although variants of the Leap-1A and -1B are already approved for the commercial air transport operations, EASA requires additional qualification for engines destined for VIP aircraft, thanks to the different mission profiles flown.

Article edited to correct thrust ratings in second and fifth paragraphs

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