The driving force of China's C919

Updated 2017-08-22 20:00:17 Xinhua
China sent its homegrown large passenger plane C919 into sky on Friday, May 5, 2017, becoming one of the world's top makers of jumbo aircraft.

China sent its homegrown large passenger plane C919 into sky on Friday, May 5, 2017, becoming one of the world's top makers of jumbo aircraft.

Olivier Dubroeucq reads Chinese classical literature to better understand Chinese culture, settle himself and find inner calm. And most of the time, he is occupied by "big causes" such as powering a jumbo jet to take off.

The Frenchman has a lot to be excited about - not least the global debut of the LEAP-1C engine, which recently powered the maiden flight of China's first homemade large passenger aircraft, the C919.

"I'm very excited and very proud! Proud of Safran being a partner of COMAC. Proud of my teammates and proud of myself. I feel very honored to grow with Chinese aviation industry and take off together," says Dubroeucq, executive vice president of the COMAC & AVIC program of Safran.

COMAC is the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, maker of the C919. Safran is a leading aero engine and equipment manufacturer, which makes the LEAP-1C engines and nacelle for the aircraft, through CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Safran Aircraft Engines and GE.

"You can see a new giant of the global aviation industry. China is moving forward with major steps such as the successful maiden flight of the C919," says Dubroeucq.


The maiden flight on May 5 was a crucial test of both the C919 aircraft as a whole and its propulsion system.

Dubroeucq and his team were invited to witness the event at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport.

"China demonstrated its independent pursuit of mastering key technologies in large passenger aircraft. It has also created valuable opportunities in global aviation," says Dubroeucq.

More than 200 enterprises in 22 provinces and cities in China took part in research and development of the C919. And 16 leading international aviation companies were selected as airborne system suppliers, with 16 joint ventures set up.

The "LEAP engine family" integrates cutting-edge technologies of Safran subsidiaries and global giant GE. It includes the LEAP-1A adopted by the Airbus A320neo, the LEAP-1B on the Boeing 737MAX, and the LEAP-1C used by COMAC.

The three have similarities in performance and components, but the main difference lies in electrical and mechanical interfaces and the engine's appearance, which is adapted to the aircraft design.

"The LEAP-1C has excellent environmental performance, with significant reductions in energy consumption, gas emissions and noise, making the C919 competitive with its peer models," he says.

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