Boeing, CFM Say LEAP-1B To Hit Performance Target

May 7, 2015

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Boeing and CFM International have begun flight testing the LEAP-1B engine for the 737 MAX, with early tests showing it is on track to deliver promised fuel savings.

There has been industry speculation recently of a performance shortfall of as much as 5 percent in fuel burn performance compared with the specification on early models of the LEAP-1B engine.

Boeing and said the LEAP-1B "is on track to deliver 14 percent more fuel efficiency" compared with current 737s, in line with targets.

The results were confirmed after the engine entered flight testing on April 29, the companies said.

Separately, a senior industry figure familiar with the LEAP engine described the shortfall speculation as "absolutely false." Another industry insider familiar with the matter said talk of a shortfall was inaccurate.

The 737 MAX is due to enter service in 2017. The LEAP-1B is the only engine choice to power the 737 MAX, Boeing's next generation single-aisle plane, which has more than 2,700 orders from 57 customers.

CFM, a joint venture between General Electric and Safran, is making a different version of the same engine to power about half of the Airbus A320neo.

The engine also will be used on the C919 being built by China's Comac, a new entrant to the biggest segment of the jet market. CFM began testing Comac's version last October, followed by the Airbus version in February.