CFM International’s LEAP-1C Integrated Propulsion System with Nexcelle engine nacelle powers the COMAC C919

Nov. 11, 2014
ZHUHAI, China, 11 Nov. 2014. CFM International’s LEAP-1C Integrated Propulsion System (IPS), which takes advantage of Nexcelle’s engine nacelle, has been selected to power COMAC’s C919 narrow-body commercial aircraft.

ZHUHAI, China, 11 Nov. 2014. CFM International’s LEAP-1C Integrated Propulsion System (IPS), which takes advantage of Nexcelle’s engine nacelle, has been selected to power COMAC’s C919 narrow-body commercial aircraft.

The LEAP-1C IPS is the first new-generation Integrated Propulsion System for an airliner, according to CFM International officials. The engine nacelle from Nexcelle contributes operational advantages, such as improved aerodynamics, lower weight, higher reliability, and simplified maintenance.

“Nexcelle continues to demonstrate that our joint venture is meeting the challenge of creating, producing, and supporting a highly innovative nacelle package on the LEAP-1C’s Integrated Propulsion System,” says Nexcelle President Michel Abella, who is attending Airshow China 2014 in Zhuhai.

The first LEAP-1C engine is now undergoing evaluations on a modified GE Aviation 747 flying testbed aircraft at Victorville, Calif. Nexcelle is providing continuing support for the test activity – and is preparing for COMAC’s subsequent startup of C919 prototype flight testing in Shanghai, China.

In parallel, Nexcelle’s two parent companies – Aircelle (Safran) and GE Aviation’s Middle River Aircraft Systems (MRAS) – are completing their industrial set-up for LEAP-1C nacelle series production, working closely with their supply chains.

The establishment of Nexcelle’s support infrastructure for C919 operators also is moving forward, involving the creation of an on-line customer portal and the organization of support/services resources within its parent companies.

Key features of Nexcelle’s IPS nacelle system for the LEAP-1C include an all-new translating O-Duct thrust reverser configuration; a fan cowl that is structurally integrated to the engine; an integrated mounting system for reduced engine distortion and enhanced on-wing performance; along with a low drag front end that incorporates a directed flow nozzle deicing system. The IPS’ installed performance is further enhanced by a low drag, low weight pylon developed by COMAC concurrently with the nacelle.

A major innovation in Nexcelle’s nacelle design for the LEAP-1C is its one-piece composite O-Duct configuration, which replaces a traditional thrust reverser’s two-piece “D” doors. When deployed, the O-Duct moves aftward to the reverse thrust position, eliminating drag links in the engine’s secondary flow-path, enhancing the airflow path and improving fuel consumption – while also increasing thrust reverser efficiency. The O-Duct deployment is performed with an evolved electrical thrust reverser actuation system.

Another of the nacelle system’s technological advances is the directed flow nozzle deicing system, which more efficiently swirls engine bleed air within the inlet lip – providing weight, efficiency and maintainability improvements from traditional nacelle deicing systems that use Piccolo tubes.

Nexcelle’s LEAP-1C nacelle also incorporates the extensive use of lightweight and noise-attenuating composite materials, benefitting from the proven experience of the joint venture’s parent companies in their respective nacelle and thrust reverser product lines. Download high resolution image:

Nexcelle is creating smart nacelle systems for tomorrow’s world travel. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, the company is a 50/50 joint venture of Safran (Aircelle) and GE Middle River Aircraft Systems (MRAS), which are leading suppliers of engine nacelles, thrust reversers and aerostructures. Through Nexcelle’s relationship with CFM International, GE Aviation and Safran, the company brings unparalleled expertise in the design, development, production, and support of integrated propulsion systems for a wide range of aircraft.

CFM International is a 50/50 joint company between GE and Snecma (Safran).

About the Author

Courtney E. Howard | Chief Editor, Intelligent Aerospace

Courtney enjoys writing about all things high-tech in PennWell’s burgeoning Aerospace and Defense Group, which encompasses Intelligent Aerospace and Military & Aerospace Electronics. She’s also a self-proclaimed social-media maven, mil-aero nerd, and avid avionics and space geek. Connect with Courtney at [email protected], @coho on Twitter, on LinkedIn, and on Google+.

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