Full-scale LEAP Testing Yields Results; Advanced LEAP Fan Endurance Test Nearing Completion

Testing of CFM International’s advanced 3-D Woven Resin Transfer Molding (3-DW RTM) fan is proceeding on schedule. In May, CFM completed a full-scale fan blade out rig test, simulating certification requirements for the proprietary 3-DW RTM technology.  The company has also completed extensive full-scale component tests, including bird ingestion testing with positive results. Endurance testing of 3-DW RTM fan is also proceeding on schedule, with 3,500 of the planned 5,000 cycles completed.  The test was designed to evaluate fan behavior within a real thermal and vibratory environment. The results have been meeting or exceeding all pre-test predictions, the company says. “The endurance test is an important one for us because it addresses the conditions that our customers will eventually see in operation,” said Francois Bastin, director of the LEAP Program for CFM. “With only 1,500 cycles to go, we have seen absolutely no change whatsoever on the fan blades.  We couldn’t be happier with the results.” CFM initiated ground test of a full-scale 3-DW RTM fan installed on a CFM56-5C MASCOT (Moteur à Aubes de Soufflante en COmposite Taille) demonstrator engine in early 2009 to validate the RTM technology. Prior to launching the endurance test earlier this year, the MASCOT engine completed aerodynamic and performance testing at Snecma (Safran group) facilities in Villaroche, France, before being sent to GE facilities in Peebles, Ohio. It has successfully logged more than 165 hours of extensive crosswind and acoustics testing to measure noise levels under various operating conditions. MASCOT will accumulate approximately 400 additional hours full-scale by year-end. The LEAP engine is on track for certification in 2014 and entry into service in 2016.

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