Through its Nexcelle joint venture with Safran Nacelles, Middle River Aircraft Systems has a key role in the nacelle system for CFM International’s LEAP-1C turbofan engine, which powers the COMAC C919 jetliner.
The LEAP-1C is the first truly integrated propulsion system (IPS) in its thrust category, and MRAS contributes its design, development and production expertise in realizing the IPS advantages – including optimized weight, improved operational efficiency and facilitated maintenance.
The first C919 jetliner performed its maiden takeoff in
and has since been joined by a second flight test aircraft
MRAS responsibility on the LEAP-1C involves the nacelle’s inlet, fan cowls, inner fixed structure and engine mounts. The MRAS-designed aluminum inlet lip is the largest of its kind to enter production on a large commercial jet engine – contributing to the nacelle’s low-drag front end, improving airflow and lower noise levels.
The fan cowl module is designed at the GE China Technology Center (CTC) in Shanghai under Middle River Aircraft Systems responsibility, underscoring MRAS’ international reach and benefitting from the global resources of its GE Aviation parent company.
MRAS has personnel located at a facility adjacent to the C919 final assembly line near Shanghai Pudong Airport, ensuring continuous on-site support for LEAP-1C nacelle build-up and podding with the engine, and its team members also support the jetliner’s flight test activities at two other locations elsewhere in China.