737 MAX LEAP-1B Engine Right On Target

Unlike the production and quality snafus faced by Pratt & Whitney on the GTF engines powering the A320neo, A321neo and the abject selling CSeries, the recent quality issues seen on the LEAP-1B engine are minor to the point of irrelevant.

The immediate resumption of flight tests is akin to that of the early GEnx issues on the 787 – this is a simple procedural production anomaly and quality oversight where processes will be reviewed and remedied.

CFM International has a huge dual supply base for its engines and planned ramp up and the disc forging where the quality issue was discovered had not been installed on an engine. The pause in flight tests was precautionary.

LEAP-1B has been through a flawless flight test campaign, despite waiting for EASA to certify the type.

First delivery is imminent and its worth noting that unlike the GTF, both CFM International and the LEAP-1B engine for the new 737 MAX family have been 100% where they said they’d be – contrary to the ill-informed nonsense espoused by some that it would fall short on fuel burn and other metrics.

It hasn’t.

If anything, LEAP-1B is ahead on all fronts – especially on the reliability and robustness fronts that no other competitor could match – this is testament to CFM International’s prowess on delivering on what it says it will.

And while we’re talking engines – it is exactly five months to the day that the GTF-powered A321neo was certified – and it has still not entered service – indeed, its lost its debut to the LEAP-1A powered variant.

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