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CFM pleased with eCore 2 initial performance

CFM reports that it has begun tests of second full-scale engineering core (eCore 2) at 50/50 partner GE's Cincinnati facilities, with runs at operational speed expected the week of 6 June.

During the 24 May first run, Leap-X programme director Ron Klapproth said the engine "went to idle speed" directly, an unusual event given the various slave systems attached to the core that simulate the various other components of a turbofan engine. "This core wants to run," says Klapproth.

The testing is expected to last 3-4 months and 200-250h of operational time, with CFM engineers gathering data from approximately 1,500 data measurements used to evaluate the 10-stage, 22:1 pressure ratio compressor, combustor and two-stage high pressure turbine. Overall pressure ratio for the complete engine will be 45:1 at sea level and full power, and 50:1 at top of climb, says Klapproth.

CFM tested the previous core, eCore 1 for 150h last year, and had previously built and tested eight earlier cores on various test rigs. A third and "final tune-up" core (eCore 3) will run in 2012, followed by they first engine to test (FETT) in 2013. Engine certification is expected in 2014.

New for eCore 2 is an increased number of optical light probe sensors at each engine stage to measure blade clearance and blade position without interrupting the air flow, techniques that will make the core perform more closely to the actual engine.

Leap-X is the sole engine selection for the Comac C919, slated for entry into service (EIS) in 2016 and as an engine choice, along with Pratt & Whitney's geared turbofan, on the Airbus A320neo, set for EIS in late 2015.

Klapproth says CFM has also run the low pressure turbine portion of the Leap-X engine at 50/50 partner Snecma's facility in France in early May. "Results look terrific," says Klapproth. Snecma also performed a successful blade-out test for the full 18-blade RTM composite fan and composite fan case for a 180cm (71in) fan. Fan size for the Comac C919 and the A320neo will be 198cm.

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