• Production version of A320Neo powerplant commences delivery
  • Leap-1As will now be sent to Hamburg for installation

Airbus Group SE formally accepted the first series-production engines built by CFM International for its A320neo narrow-body jet -- a model that entered service this year using rival powerplants from Pratt & Whitney.

The Leap-1A engines were handed over by CFM ahead of schedule and will be fitted to an aircraft that should reach its buyer by the middle of this year, the joint venture of General Electric Co. and Paris-based Safran SA said Friday.

The Leap model is being assembled at CFM’s plant near Paris and sent to the Colomiers headquarters of Aircelle in southwest France, close to Airbus’s own Toulouse base, for fitting into its housing or nacelle. The engines will then go by road to Airbus’s narrow-body factory in Hamburg, Germany, for installation.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency awarded certification to the Leap-1A in November. CFM has 10,400 firm orders for the three versions of the engine, including the Leap-1B for Boeing Co.’s 737 Max rival to the A320neo.

Pratt’s geared turbofan engine has encountered difficulties with cooling at some temperatures, causing initial A320neo customer Qatar Airways to decline delivery of its planes until the glitch is fixed.

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