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​First Leap-powered A320neo moved to flight-test team

Airbus has transferred the first CFM International Leap-powered A320neo to its flight-test organisation.

A320 programme chief Klaus Roewe says the transfer on 21 April means the aircraft, fitted with Leap-1A engines, will begin undertaking ground manoeuvring tests ahead of first flight.

The first flight will take place in "very, very few weeks", says Roewe: "Maybe we can even count it in days."

Airbus's schedule states that the aircraft will fly by mid-2015.

Roewe was speaking in Hamburg ahead of EasyJet's 250th A320 delivery.

Airbus has two Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-powered A320neos in its test fleet, and the first Leap jet will take the fleet to three.

Roewe says that a second Leap-powered A320neo, MSN6642, is being prepared for the campaign.

CFM chief Jean-Paul Ebanga, also present at the event, says the Leap-1A fuel-burn is "exactly" where the manufacturer wants it to be, and that it is pleased with the development progress.

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