A Big LEAP for Pegasus: Turkish Low-Cost Carrier Orders Next-Generation Engines
Sometimes with new technologies, their complexity makes it almost impossible to really understand what makes them so special. But with the LEAP jet engine, it’s easy to understand why some of its key components are so unique, and, in fact, seem like they are straight out of science fiction.
For example, the engine’s fuel nozzles are 3-D printed by lasers (what we refer to as additative as manufacturing) that heat layer after layer of metal powder that are consecutively added until the part is fully “grown.” The process delivers results that are substantially stronger and lighter than conventionally manufactured metals. Other engine components are made of revolutionary ceramic matrix composites that weigh a third of what advanced alloy metals do, but can perform at temperatures as high as 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit — where most metal alloys grow soft.
Another element – the engine’s carbon-fiber composite fan blades – are, for the first time, woven in three dimensions all at one time, in a Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) process that makes the blades stronger and more durable.
Once you add all these performance and weight improvements together, you get a more powerful, more efficient engine. It will provide 15% better fuel consumption and 15% fewer CO2 emissions, compared to today’s best CFM engine. It also will provide a 50% reduction in oxides of nitrogen emissions.
On top of that, it delivers up to a 15-decibel reduction in noise.
Here in the region, Turkey’s leading low-cost carrier, Pegasus Airlines, has selected the LEAP-1A engine to power its new fleet of single-aisle A320neo/A321neo aircraft. This fleet includes 75 aircraft on firm order and 25 on option. The airline is scheduled to begin taking delivery of the aircraft in 2016.
Since it began operations in 1990, the Istanbul-based airline has been a CFM customer. Today, the airline operates a fleet of 43 CFM-powered Boeing 737 aircraft on scheduled routes to 72 domestic and international destinations throughout Europe, Russia, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa.