Editor's Note: Copy supplied by Rochester, New Hampshire, Economic Development
CFM has just delivered the 1,000th LEAP engine with composite material fan blades and casings, and demand continues to climb as the company logs another $15.7 billion in orders from the Farnborough Airshow outside of London. The LEAP engine features composite engine components available since 2014, with the opening of a new SAFRAN Aerospace Composites and Albany International co-locating in a 343,000-square-foot facility located in Rochester, New Hampshire. The composite components have quickly become the preferred lightweight material as demonstrated by orders at the Farnborough Airshow, where 15 of the 16 orders were for the LEAP engines. This composite engine increases safety as well as provides significant energy savings over traditional engines.
The LEAP engine is going through a massive ramp-up, “the fastest in the history of aviation,” says Brandon Wagner, executive plant leader at GE’s Hooksett Plant. “The LEAP-1B, which goes to Boeing…we’re making 20 engines a week — that’s going to be 36 engines a week by the end of next year.”
CFM International announced orders and commitments for just over 858 LEAP and CFM56 engines at the 2018 Farnborough Airshow, in addition to long-term services agreements, at a total value of $15.7 billion U.S. list price.1
Orders from the airshow were across all engine lines, servicing widebody, narrow-body, and regional jets. New Hampshire makes products for all of these engine platforms, so these orders go back directly to the Rochester and Hooksett, N.H., plants. In preparation for increased production, hiring is a priority, with more than 1,200 employed at the two plants. Rochester has 50 open positions and can provide customized training at the Advanced Technology and Academic Center (ATAC). The ATAC is a satellite campus of Great Bay Community College, with a lab replicating the exact manufacturing experience as the actual plant floor at SAFRAN Aerospace Composites. Recruits are OSHA-certified and get a complete training in composites and nondestructive testing in six months.