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IN FOCUS: A giant Leap for CFM

A programme that began to take shape as a concept nearly eight years ago is finally taking real form inside CFM International's supply chain.

Launched at the 2005 Paris Air Show as a possible CFM56 replacement, the Leading Edge Aviation Propulsion (Leap) programme was at that time intended to supply the next generation of turbofans for all-new single-aisle aircraft by Airbus and Boeing. At that time, few expected a replacement for the A320 or 737 to appear before 2020.

Over the next six years, the single-aisle market evolved rapidly. A competitor, Pratt & Whitney, introduced a new innovation in propulsion called a fan-drive gear system, the Chinese entered the market with a new single-aisle airframe and Airbus and Boeing deferred plans for an all-new single-aisle.

GECAS A320neo Airbus


GECAS has selected Leap engines to power 60 A320neos 

Instead, the US and European airframers settled for re-engining and updating their products within this decade, with Airbus promising airlines a 15% fuel burn improvement compared to a standard A320, and Boeing - not to be outdone - vowing a 16% upgrade.

Such promises are based almost entirely on the performance of a new generation of single-aisle turbofans developed by P&W and CFM. P&W's PurePower-branded geared turbofan hit the market first. Bombardier selected the PW1500G to power the CSeries, a small narrowbody launched in the 110-149-seat market.


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