CFM is the world's largest jet engine maker by the number of units sold. It is the sole engine supplier for the Boeing 737 MAX and competes with Raytheon Technologies unit Pratt and Whitney for airline engine selections on the Airbus A320neo.

The technology demonstrator project comes as the industry prepares to battle over the next generation of single-aisle planes like the MAX and A320neo in the busiest part of the airplane market while facing mounting environmental pressure.

The open-rotor engine concept places previously hidden whirring parts on the outside of the engine to capture more air and reduce the burden on the engine's fuel-burning core.

Previous attempts since the 1980s to develop such engines have had to contend with concerns including noise.

Safran chief executive Olivier Andries said a prototype tested in 2017 had produced no more noise than the LEAP.


Industry sources have said Boeing is considering launching a replacement for its slightly larger and long-range single-aisle 757 that could pave the way for a replacement of the MAX.

But it has deferred a decision on whether to move relatively quickly - a step that would require an available conventional engine - or wait for the arrival of technology like open-rotor with hybrid propulsion, Reuters reported recently.

GE Aviation chief executive John Slattery said CFM would be ready to compete for whatever jet might be launched and challenged other engine makers to compete with the technology.

"If Boeing or any air-framer launches a platform and the business case makes sense for us, then we will present our best aggregate technologies that we have at that moment in time," he told a news conference on Monday.

Boeing said it regularly conducted technology studies and collaborated with suppliers. It gave no fresh indication whether open-rotor technology could power its next jetliner.

Airbus, which says it is working on a zero-emission plane to enter service in 2035, said on Tuesday it welcomed the fact that the engine was expected to be ‘agnostic’ about the type of fuel.

"We await news of where Airbus and Boeing are headed," Jefferies analyst Sandy Morris said.

Safran shares rose 1.6 per cent early on Tuesday, buoyed also by signs of a truce in an aircraft trade war.

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