Aerospace

Paris Air Show sees $27 billion in orders for 3D printing enabled LEAP engine

CFM International, a joint venture between Safran and GE, has taken orders for 1,658 LEAP and CFM56 engines at this week’s Paris Air Show.

Valuing the orders at book value means the deals for the 3D printing enabled engines are worth over $27 billion.

This takes the total number of LEAP engines on order to over 14,000.

Gaël Méheust,  president and CEO of CFM International, said, “This air show has far surpassed all of our expectations. It is highly gratifying and humbling to have so many airlines put their faith in CFM to power and support their single-aisle fleets.”

A CFM Turbofan LEAP engine at the 2013 Paris Air Show.
A CFM Turbofan LEAP engine at the 2013 Paris Air Show.

Advanced manufacturing technologies

The LEAP – Leading Edge Aviation Propulsion – engine features a number of advanced manufacturing technologies. The fan blades are fabricated with a 3D woven RTM (Resin Transfer Molding) carbon fiber composite.

The engine is also the first to use fuel nozzles made using additive manufacturing. The fuel nozzles are 25% lighter than previous models and five times more durable than parts manufactured conventionally.

The fuel nozzles were 3D printed in metal by Morris Technologies using EOS machines. In 2012, GE bought Morris Technologies. GE are currently working to certify and qualify production of the additive manufactured fuel nozzle using in-house technology.

With the acquisition of Concept Laser and Arcam EBM, GE plans to sell 10,000 industrial 3D printers. A further 1,000 3D metal printers will be required to meet demand within GE.

Mohammad Ehteshami VP Additive Integration GE Additive speaking at the 2017 Materialise World Summit. Photo by Michael Petch.
Mohammad Ehteshami VP Additive Integration GE Additive speaking at the 2017 Materialise World Summit. Photo by Michael Petch.

The value of orders placed by airlines has been reported as follows.

  • China Eastern Airlines: $4 billion
  • GE Capital Aviation Services: $2.9 billion
  • Spring Airlines: $1.7 billion
  • China Southern Airline: $1.5 billion
  • CDB Aviation: $1.3 billion
  • VEB Leasing: $1.2 billion
  • ICBC Leasing: $1.1 billion
  • Aviall: $1 billion
  • Air Lease Corp.: $725 million
  • Aviation Capital Group: $580 million
  • EVA Airways: $400 million
  • All Nippon Airways: $400 million
  • Arkia Israeli Airlines: $200 million
  • Japan Airlines: $75 million
  • K5 Aviation: $29 million

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Featured image shows the LEAP Fuel Nozzle. Photo by Michael Petch.

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