CFM International, the engine manufacturer, has killed two birds with one stone. The LEAP-1A, high-bypass turbofan engine, designed to equip the A320neo, has just obtained dual certification from both civil aviation authorities: the US FAA and European EASA. This certification is the first step in the programme, because two other LEAP engines must also be certified, those for Boeing’s 737max (LEAP-1B), and also, the Chinese aircraft manufacturer COMAC’s C919 (LEAP-1C).
On 20 November, the precious document was delivered to the engine manufacturer simultaneously in Cologne, Germany and Boston in the United States. This certification comes six months after the first test flight, thus allowing the LEAP equipped A320neo to enter service in June next year.
Nevertheless, the A320neo, itself, will enter service from next month, because the A320 remotorised version customers have a choice of two engines (CFM or Pratt & Whitney). The first operator, Qatar Airways, has opted for Pratt & Whitney engines, although the LEAP still has a slight numerical advantage for the moment (1,327 LEAP-1A equipped A320neo’s, as against the 1,176 PW1100G-JM equipped A320neo’s), leaving 40% of the A320neo’s on order, for which the customers have not yet chosen the engines.