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PARIS: Comac's C919 benefits from Neo launch

The launch of the Airbus A320neo programme has had a side benefit for the indigenous Chinese Comac C919 aircraft project.

"An increase in fan size for Neo means the C919 will get a performance boost," said Olivier Savin, executive vice-president at CFM, the engine maker that is supplying its Leap engine for the twinjet, on the eve of the show.

"It's a common engine," said Savin, with 95% commonality between the Leap-X1A for the Neo and the Leap-X1C for the C919. "The core is almost the same, the difference is in the installation," said Francois Bastin, Leap project manager. He said this is because the C919 comes with an integrated propulsion system including the engine and nacelle. "In terms of technical performance, it's the same," he said.

CFM is "looking at final assembly in China" for the engine. A decision on whether to go ahead would be entirely made on business grounds and is under evaluation, said Savin.

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