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CFM marks its 1,001st innovation for the LEAP engine

With a nod to the thousands of men and women worldwide who are developing the next-generation engine of choice for single-aisle aircraft, CFM International today marks its 1,001st technology innovation for the advanced LEAP engine.

To celebrate this milestone, CFM identified the 3-D woven, resin transfer molding (RTM) composite fan blade as innovation #1,001. This patented, revolutionary technology uses woven carbon fibers and a unique manufacturing process to create maintenance-free, highly durable blades. The light-weight fan, combined with a composite fan case, reduces aircraft weight by 1,000 pounds compared to the same size fan manufactured using all-metal materials. This lower weight, along with state-of-the-art blade design, contributes about half of the 15 percent fuel efficiency improvement the LEAP engine will provide. And that's great news for customers.

"The 1,001 technology innovations we have identified are certainly just the tip of the iceberg," said Jean Paul Ebanga, president and CEO of CFM International. "We recognized long ago that it would take the combined efforts of thousands of people and multiple technology innovations to meet our customers' long-term expectations. It takes a passion for innovation and precision in execution to deliver CFM-level quality and technology day in and day out."

The result of that work is the LEAP engine, which incorporates revolutionary technologies never before seen in the single-aisle aircraft segment. The new engine combines advanced aerodynamic design techniques, lighter, more durable materials, and leading-edge environmental technologies, making it a major breakthrough in engine technology. Its 15 percent better fuel efficiency*, at current fuel prices, translates to as much as $1.6 million in fuel cost savings alone for customers per airplane, per year. LEAP technology will also achieve double-digit improvements in CO2 emissions and noise levels, and LEAP's industry-leading combustor technology will reduce emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), a greenhouse gas, by 50 percent compared to current requirements. And it will do this all while providing the industry's best reliability and lowest maintenance costs.

Press release issued by CFM International Inc. on June 18, 2011


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