CFM, a GE Aviation/Snecma joint venture, aims to begin testing on a full 737 MAX engine in mid-2014. Freezing engine configuration “now allows CFM to finalize and release detailed engine design drawings, which it will do over the next six months,” CFM said in a statement. “Parts manufacturing for the LEAP-1B engine will then accelerate through year end, leading to build-up of the first engine in early 2014.”
The LEAP-1B is scheduled for flight testing in 2015 with a goal of engine certification in 2016. The 737 MAX is scheduled to enter service in 2017.
“Achieving design freeze is a significant step in the program,” GE Aviation LEAP program manager Gareth Richards said. “All of our testing and design work leading to this moment demonstrates that we are on track to meet all of our program commitments.”