New Reverse Bleed System for LEAP-1A Engines is Ready to Fly

CFM International has started shipping its first LEAP-1A engines equipped with a new reverse bleed system designed to mitigate carbon build-up on fuel nozzles. The LEAP-1A is pictured here at its assembly facility in Villaroche, France. (Image: CFM International)

CFM International has started shipping its first production LEAP-1A Engines equipped with a new reverse bleed system (RBS) to Airbus, with entry into commercial service expected by mid-year. The new production configuration hardware will also be installed in the existing fleet by both airlines and overhaul shops. CFM will introduce the RBS on the LEAP-1B engine, as well.

The LEAP-1A engine with new RBS system, which mitigates carbon build-up on fuel nozzles, was certified by FAA and EASA in 2023. As a result, the requirement for on-wing fuel nozzle replacement and associated maintenance burden will be dramatically reduced. Once the system is fully deployed throughout the fleet, CFM anticipates fuel nozzle replacement to generally occur only during performance restoration shop visits. Availability of the hardware, which can be installed on wing, is expected in the second quarter of this year.

The engine maker first released details about the new RBS during the 2023 Paris Air Show, which is intended to fix the "long-running coking issue around the fuel nozzle that has affected the engine on the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX fleets," according Aviation Week's coverage  of the upgrade.

“CFM has always invested in product improvements designed to meet customer expectations for our engines. The reverse bleed system is the latest example of that commitment,” said Gaël Méheust, President and CEO of CFM International. “It is a testament to the ingenuity of our technical and customer teams, who designed a solution that seamlessly integrates with existing aircraft systems. This RBS is part of a broader plan to improve engine durability, that will see additional upgrades introduced throughout the year.”

Installation training for the RBS is available at four CFM facilities: the GE Customer Technical Education Center (CTEC) in Springdale, Ohio; Safran Aircraft Engines Customer Training Center (CTC) in Montereau, France; Aero Engine Maintenance Training Center (AEMTC) in Guanghan, China; and CFM Aircraft Engine Support South Asia (CFMAESSA) in Hyderabad, India.