Airbus begins flight trials of the A320neo equipped with Aircelle nacelles on CFM International’s LEAP-1A engines
May 19, 2015
The newest jet engine nacelle from Aircelle (Safran) is now airborne on the latest version of Airbus' best-selling single-aisle airliner – the A320neo (new engine option) powered by CFM International's LEAP-1A powerplants.
Flight testing of the initial A320neo with LEAP-1A engines began this week from Toulouse in France, supported by Aircelle's technical teams.
Aircelle has responsibility for the complete nacelle on A320neo aircraft equipped with the LEAP-1A powerplants, including integration on the engine. These nacelles benefit from Aircelle's proven technology developed for its growing product portfolio – such as the nacelles proven in 10 years of operations on Airbus' A380 very large airliner.
For the A320neo program, Aircelle developed a comprehensive technology roadmap that incorporates innovations in systems, composite materials and acoustic treatment; while also using leading-edge production techniques and processes.
"This results in an A320neo nacelle that is robust, reliable, reparable, lightweight and acoustically efficient," explained Aircelle President Martin. "We have committed Aircelle's full design, development, engineering and manufacturing resources to the A320neo program in supporting its production pace and ramp-up – which is one of the most rapid in the history of commercial aviation."
For the A320neo nacelle's operability and reliability, Aircelle made technical choices for maturity and robustness, resulting in improvements where needed. A major difference in the A320neo nacelle is the use of a cascade thrust reverser, compared to Aircelle's pivoting four-door design of the CFM56 nacelle on the A320ceo (current engine option). This further enhances the A320neo thrust reverser's performance in the reverse mode.
The A320neo is Airbus' new engine option version of its popular twin-engine A320 aircraft family, which offers additional fuel savings and performance improvements for operations of the jetliners.