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US Reapproves Licence For Leap Engine Sales to China

Apr 15,2020

The US government has reapproved GE Aviations application to supply engines for Comacs C919 narrowbody programme, months after it mulled blocking engine sales. 


The enginemaker states the licence to supply CFM International Leap-1C engines will last for a term of four years. It did not indicate when the application was approved. 


We are pleased that the [US] administration has come to this decision, and look to continue to serve our customers in China and beyond, the company adds. 


CFM is a joint venture between GE and Frances Safran. In mid-February, media reports emerged that the US government was considering blocking the sale of the Leap-1C engine to China, with additional export limits on other systems, such as Honeywell flight-control systems. 


However, US president Donald Trump waded into the debate a day later, tweeting that he wanted China to buy our jet engines, the best in the world. He also blasted proposals that would make it difficult to sell engines and other components into the Chinese market. 


Apart from powering the C919, other variants of the Leap are also an option for the Airbus A320neo, and the exclusive powerplant for the grounded Boeing 737 Max. 


GE has obtained export licences from the US government for the Leap-1C engines since 2014, having most recently received one in March 2019. 


Comac has six C919 test aircraft flying, all fitted with the Leap-1C. It has more than 300 Leap-powered aircraft in its order book. Comac is looking at a 2021-2022 date for the C919s service entry.


Other than CFM engines, the C919 will also be fitted with Chinese-made powerplants.


Progress on the developmental CJ-1000AX high-bypass turbofan, manufactured by AECC Commercial Aircraft Engine, is still unclear. It was reported in 2018 that the CJ-1000AX demonstrator engine achieved power-on. Chinese media reports indicate the CJ-1000AX is looking to enter service in 2021.


The move shows that foreign suppliers still value the Chinese market.The market demand of Chinas civil aviation aircraft has been on the rise, and the country has been marketing efforts in the independent research and development of aero engines.


Gas Turbine Engine Simulation Technology Development Forum 2020 will held on October 15th - 16th , in Shengyang, China. We will focus on the aero engine simulation technology, share and discuss the development trend of the engine, we sincerely welcome your participation.


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