Safran Aircraft Engines, a world leading engine manufacturer, and Albany International Corp. (NYSE: AIN), a leading developer and manufacturer of engineered composite components, today announced an agreement extending their partnership to the year 2046. Through this new agreement, the two companies declare their intent to work together on the next generation engines and thus contribute to the 2050 net-zero CO2 emissions commitment of the aviation industry.
Albany International and Safran signed the original framework agreement in 2006 resulting in the creation of their joint venture for the development of high technology composite parts (3D woven and Resin Transfer Molded technologies) designed for aircraft engines, landing gears and nacelles.
The 3D-woven composite technology designed and developed by Safran in partnership with Albany Engineered Composites, is a major innovation that plays a key role in improving the performance of the new generation LEAP engine of CFM International1, which powers the Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 MAX and Comac C919 aircraft families. This advanced material is used to manufacture the fan blades, fan case and spacers of the LEAP engine, leading to significant weight savings and contributing to reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of 15 percent. Safran and Albany have also teamed-up to work on the development and production of the GE9X 3D composite fan case for the Boeing 777X.
In order to address unprecedented LEAP production ramp-up, the partners have built three state-of-the-art production plants in Rochester (New Hampshire, United States), in Commercy (France) and in Querétaro (Mexico). These three sites are dedicated to 3D composite parts and delivered to date more than 130 000 parts of the LEAP engine.
“We are pleased to extend our partnership with Safran, building on the success of Albany’s proprietary 3D weaving technology and our joint efforts on critical components of the LEAP and GE9X engine programs, The goals set for the next-generation of aircraft engines are multi-faceted and technically demanding. Our AEC team is looking forward to further collaboration with our Safran partners to apply our advanced composite technologies to the next generation of aircraft engines that meaningfully raise the bar for fuel-efficiency and contribute to a more sustainable future.”
- Bill Higgins, Albany International President and CEO.
“Based on the successful partnership we have developed with Albany on the LEAP program, we are looking forward to starting a new chapter of our strategic cooperation, Combining Albany’s recognized expertise in weaving with our innovative composites represents a fantastic asset to address our ambitious sustainable goals through next-generation engine programs.”
- Jean-Paul Alary, Chief Executive Officer of Safran Aircraft Engines
CFM will keep exploring composite applications through the RISE (Revolutionary Innovation for Sustainable Engines) technology and demonstration program launched in 2021 as a manifestation of its deep commitment for achieving aggressive goals for a sustainable future, including reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by more than 20 percent.
Safran is an international high-technology group, operating in the aviation (propulsion, equipment and interiors), defense and space markets. Its core purpose is to contribute to a safer, more sustainable world, where air transport is more environmentally friendly, comfortable and accessible. Safran has a global presence, with 76,000 employees and sales of 16.5 billion euros in 2020 and holds, alone or in partnership, world or regional leadership positions in its core markets.
Safran is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange, and is part of the CAC 40 and Euro Stoxx 50 indices.
Safran Aircraft Engines designs, produces, sells, alone or in partnership, commercial and military aircraft engines offering world-class performance, reliability and environmental-friendliness. Through CFM International*, Safran Aircraft Engines is the world's leading supplier of engines for short and medium-haul commercial jets.
Albany International is a leading developer and manufacturer of engineered components, using advanced materials processing and automation capabilities, with two core businesses. Machine Clothing is the world’s leading producer of customized, consumable belts essential to the manufacture of all grades of paper products. Albany Engineered Composites is a growing designer and manufacturer of advanced materials-based engineered components for aerospace applications, supporting both commercial and military platforms. Albany International is headquartered in Rochester, New Hampshire, operates 23 plants in 11 countries, employs approximately 4,000 people worldwide, and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (Symbol AIN).