BEIJING, CHINA November 4, 2005 In 1985, two Chinese airlines, Air China Southwest and China Eastern Yunnan, took delivery of their first Boeing 737s. These airplanes were powered by CFM International's CFM56-3 engines. CFM was a very young company and these were some of its first orders. Since then, China has become one of the largest and most important customer regions for CFM, with 14 Chinese airlines operating more than 1,075 CFM56 engines powering nearly 500 Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) and General Electric, is today one of the most successful aircraft engine suppliers in history; earlier this year, the company delivered its 15,000th engine.
"We are both honored and humbled by the continued faith China has placed in CFM products and people," said Eric Bachelet, president and CEO of CFM International. "We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to them for the great success that CFM has achieved. Both Air China Southwest and China Easter Yunnnan were willing to work with us in the early days. Since then, our relationship with China's aviation industry has continue to evolve and flourish and now goes well beyond customer and engine manufacturer. And we are constantly finding new ways to strengthen those ties."
Since the first engines were delivered 20 years ago, China has become an important supplier base for CFM's parent companies, GE and Snecma. In 2005, these companies will purchase more than $137 million in CFM56 parts from Chinese manufacturers. The quality of these parts has been key to the ongoing success of the CFM product line.
One of the world's best aircraft engine maintenance training centers, the Aero Engine Maintenance Training Center (AEMTC), located in the Civil Aviation Flight College, Guanghan City, is a cooperative venture between CFM, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, Snecma, and GE, China Aviation Supplies Imp. & Exp. Group Corporation, Civil Aviation Flight University of China. Since opening its doors in late 1996, the Center has trained nearly 5,000 students.
The training provided at AEMTC - a state-of-the-art 4,500 square meter facility with six engine shop bays and five classrooms - is equivalent to the training at the CFM centers in the United States and France. All three centers are staffed with experienced instructors who facilitate exercises in the classroom and hands-on procedures in the engine shop. Each center also provides computer-based training, both self-paced and instructor-led.
Also in 1996, the company opened the CFM Spares Service Center in Beijing. Nearly 2,200 items for CFM56-3, CFM56-5A, -5B, -5C, and CFM56-7 line maintenance are now available to operators in a matter of days, rather than weeks.
The CFM56 product line includes six engine models spanning the thrust range from 18,500 to 34,000 pounds thrust. Commercial applications include Airbus A318, A319, A320, and A321 single-aisle aircraft, the long-range A340-200/-300, and the A319 Corporate Jet; and Boeing Classic 737-300/-400/-500, Next-Generation 737-600/-700/-800/-900, the Boeing Business Jet, and re-engined DC-8 Super 70 series aircraft. CFM56 engines power several s military applications, including the Boeing 737 Airborne Early Warning & Control aircraft, the U.S. Navy C-40 transport, and the Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA), as well as re-engined KC-135R and C-135FR tanker, E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft, the E-6 submarine communications aircraft, and RC-135 surveillance aircraft.
The CFM56 fleet has logged more than 300 million flight hours in service powering more than 6,065 commercial and military aircraft worldwide as the most reliable engines in the air.