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Safran supplies the entire C919 propulsion system, consisting of the LEAP-1C engine from CFM International(1), and the nacelle and thrust reverser built by Nexcelle. Safran also supplies the C919's electrical wiring interconnection system (EWIS), via SAIFEI Aviation EWIS Manufacturing Co. Ltd.. With Zodiac Aerospace(2) which supplies water & waste system, bulletproof cockpit door and evacuation slides, in total 9 Safran companies contribute to the COMAC C919 program, which makes Safran a major partner on the C919 and demonstrates the successful collaboration with COMAC and Safran's long-standing commitment to the China aviation industry.
The C919 program started in 2008 with the creation of COMAC, on May 11th, followed by the emissions of Request for Information (RFI).
In 2009, Safran was officially part of the program when COMAC selected the CFM International engine, LEAP-1C, as the sole Western powerplant for the C919 aircraft. The LEAP (Leading Edge Aviation Propulsion) family of engines is designed to power commercial aircraft requiring 20,000 to 33,000 pounds of thrust. These new-generation engines will set the standard in terms of fuel efficiency and total cost of ownership. The LEAP-1C is a new engine generation, part of the LEAP engine family, designed to be the successor of the CFM56 engines (1). The LEAP-1C was the first engine of the family to be selected on an aircraft program, followed by the LEAP-1A on the Airbus A320neo and the LEAP-1B on the Boeing 737 MAX.
During the same year of 2009, COMAC and Safran started to discuss about a possible joint venture for the Electrical Wiring Interconnection Systems (EWIS). On 2011, Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Company (COMAC) and Safran Electrical & Power signed the official agreement to create a joint venture, named SAIFEI, for the EWIS. The name SAIFEI (赛飞) is a combination of SAIFENG ("Safran" in Chinese) and SHANGFEI (the simplified name of COMAC in Chinese). Safran supplies the EWIS to COMAC C919 through SAIFEI.
The nacelle is developed by Nexcelle, an Safran Nacelles and Middle River Aircraft Systems (GE) joint venture, and supplied to CFM International(1). COMAC selected the CFM as the sole non-Chinese IPS supplier for the C919.
Through the years, Safran has developed a strong working relationship with COMAC to provide the best solutions for the C919. Currently we have more than 20 people on COMAC site in Shanghai working on engine development and airplane integration.
(1) CFM56 and LEAP engines are products of CFM International. CFM International is a 50/50 joint venture between Safran Aircraft Engines and GE.
(2) Zodiac Aerospace joined Safran group since February 2018