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Leap-powered A320neo conducts maiden flight

Airbus's first A320neo fitted with the CFM International Leap-1A engine has become airborne on its maiden flight.

The aircraft, MSN6419, departed Toulouse at around 13:30 local time, the airframer confirms.

Airbus is developing the Leap-1A version of the re-engined jet as an alternative to the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-powered variant.

First flight of the Leap version comes nearly eight months after the maiden PW1100G sortie.

Airbus is expecting to deliver the first PW1100G-powered aircraft in the fourth quarter of this year and the first Leap-1A aircraft during the first half of 2016.

CFM is developing two other versions of the engine: the Leap-1B for the Boeing 737 Max and the Leap-1C for the Comac C919.

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