On the record with Aircelle CEO Jean-Paul Alary
June 18, 2015
Jean-Paul Alary became Aircelle's new Chief Executive Officer on June 15, which coincided with the opening day of the 2015 Paris Air Show. In a busy week during this international aerospace industry gathering at Le Bourget Airport, Alary answered questions about his industry experience and Aircelle's current activities.
Question: What is your industry background and are you familiar with the Aircelle business?
Answer: This is a "homecoming" for me, as I am returning to Aircelle with my appointment as the CEO. My previous experience at the company included the CF34-8/-10 nacelle program manager, as well as heading the "future single-aisle jet" program, and subsequently as the Large Nacelles division head, followed by the Vice President – Programs.
I also bring different and useful insights from my assignments at other operations within the Safran group, including Microturbo and Snecma (head of customer support in the Commercial Engine division). Before returning to Aircelle, I was Executive Vice President of the Safran Electronics division at Sagem.
Aircelle have evolved during the past several years, and I am proud to rejoin the company – being able to lead the team in taking further steps forward.
Question: What is your perception of Aircelle today?
Answer: This is an exciting time for Aircelle, as we have several new programs moving into their full development, production and ramp-up phases, while our other programs are continuing across the product line – confirming Aircelle's position as the second largest nacelle systems provider worldwide.
For me, an important strength of Aircelle is that we are the only company able to cover the full range of nacelle solutions from regional jets and business jets to mainline commercial jetliners – including very large aircraft such as Airbus' A380.
Question: Aircelle's LEAP-1A nacelle is included at the exhibit stand of its Safran parent company. How is this nacelle program going for Airbus' A320neo (new engine option) aircraft?
Answer: I am proud to see our nacelle for the CFM International LEAP-1A has such a prominent position on the Safran stand, as it is among Aircelle's latest products – for which we have leadership responsibility in the nacelle's design and integration.
The A320neo with LEAP-1A engines is a major program for Aircelle, CFM International and Airbus. Everyone's challenge has remained the same from the beginning: pursue a rapid pace for development, flight test, certification, entry in service and production ramp-up.
Aircelle is showing its capabilities to meet these challenges: the nacelle's industrial program is going very well; our nacelles also are performing very well on the no. 1 LEAP-1A-equipped A320neo; while both Airbus and CFM International are extremely satisfied with the nacelle, and with the Aircelle team.
Question: What are the other priorities at Aircelle?
Answer: All of our programs are a priority at Aircelle! One example of our newer programs is the A330neo, for which we have complete responsibility for the nacelle's design, production and integration on the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000s. This is a high-thrust engine, and Aircelle is applying its expertise gained from the A380 engine nacelles, which is important in meeting the ambitious development timing of 42 months set by Airbus.
I don't want to forget the smaller-sized engines on which Aircelle is involved, including the P&W Canada PW307D powerplants that equip Dassault's Falcon 8X – for which we supply the nacelles. This business jet is making its first appearance at the Paris Air Show, and is participating every day in the flight presentation.
Question: What's next after the Paris Air Show?
Answer: On Friday, I will be meeting the teams involved in the Nexcelle joint venture of Aircelle and GE Aviation's Middle River Aircraft Systems (MRAS), which is holding its latest quarterly review meeting here in France.
With the expertise of Aircelle and MRAS, Nexcelle is helping to develop nacelles for a new generation of more integrated propulsion systems. The joint venture is involved on the LEAP-1C engine for China's COMAC C919 jetliner and the GE Aviation Passport engine to power Bombardier's Global 7000 and Global 8000 business jets.