The CFM56-7BE-powered Boeing Next-Generation 737 has maintained a highly successful entry into commercial service. Since the first airplane was delivered to China Southern Airlines in July 2011 approximately 250 aircraft have been delivered to more than 50 operators worldwide. This fleet had logged more than 300,000 flight hours to date without a single engine-related issue.
The CFM56-7BE-powered Next-Generation 737 enhanced airplane/engine combination is providing a 2 percent improvement in fuel consumption, which, in turn, equates to a 2 percent reduction in carbon emissions. Additionally, the enhanced -7B will provide up to 4 percent lower maintenance costs, depending on the thrust rating.
CFM executed an extensive certification program that included a 60-hour certification flight test program aboard GE's modified 747 flying testbed in Victorville, California. In addition, the CFM56-7BE completed a grueling 150-hour block test at Snecma facilities in Villaroche, France, during which it operated at what is referred to as triple redline: maximum fan speed, maximum core speed, and maximum exhaust gas temperature. This test simulates conditions far more extreme than would ever be experienced in commercial service to validate the reliability and durability of the hardware.
The first full CFM56-7BE type design engine completed ground testing in January 2010, and engine operation and performance was as expected. Overall, the engine completed 390 hours of ground testing (including the block test) and achieved all the technical requirements and met the key objectives for performance improvement, acoustics, engine operation and durability.
CFM is used advanced computer codes and three-dimensional design techniques to improve airfoils in the high- and low-pressure turbines for better engine performance. In addition, the company improved engine durability and reduced parts count to achieve lower maintenance costs.
CFM56 engines are a product of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of Snecma (Safran group) and GE.