CFM International's proposed powerplant for the 100-passenger class aircraft market, the CFM56-9, combines proven, state-of-the-art technology with inherent CFM56 reliability. The end result is a low-cost derivative engine that is targeted to have 5 percent better specific fuel consumption (SFC) and 20 percent lower direct maintenance costs than the industry-leading CFM56-31 at the same thrust level.
CFM International (CFM) is a 50/50 joint company of Snecma (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States.
The CFM56-9 is sized to meet the thrust requirements of potential 100-passenger aircraft such as China's AE-100 and IPTN's N2130. CFM has completed more than 70 percent of the engine design work and is prepared to certify the -9 within three years of program launch to meet aircraft certification requirements.
The engine, rated from 18,500 to 23,000 pounds thrust, will incorporate a 56-inch, solid titanium, wide chord fan and other components that will provide improved engine performance, durability, and repairability, all targeted at reducing operating costs.
The engine's performance advantage is due, in part, to the 3-D aero technology used in the high and low pressure turbines and the high pressure compressor for increased efficiency. This technology is currently being proven in service on the CFM56-5B/P and will enter service on the CFM56-7 later this year. The CFM56-9 shares a common core with these engines, and this commonality will provide significant operating cost benefits to airlines already operating CFM56-powered fleets. In addition, the -9 will benefit from the lessons learned on the -5B and -7, ensuring its transition into service on 100-passenger aircraft will be trouble-free.
Another significant CFM56-9 advantage is the single stage high pressure turbine. This design feature, which has proven performance and reliability advantages, also translates to an engine with lower cost, lower weight, and less complexity.
CFM will introduce new fan blade-out decoupler technology to the CFM56-9, allowing both weight and cost savings to the engine and aircraft structural components. The -9 will be the first CFM56 engine to incorporate this technology. The engine also features a conelliptical spinner design to decrease foreign object ingestion in the core.
The engine will be equipped with a single annular, low emissions combustor that will easily meet all anticipated regulations. However, the -9 could be equipped with CFM's high technology double annular combustor (DAC) should the 100-passenger market require low NOx emissions technology. In two and one-half years of revenue service, the DAC has proven that it significantly reduces NOx emissions levels compared to engines equipped with single annular combustors. CFM is also incorporating its advanced FADEC (Full Authority Digital Electronic Control) system, which is fully integrated for ease of maintenance and has multi-functional capability.
CFM estimates the potential sales for aircraft of this size to be about 1,200 aircraft over the next 20 years.
There are nearly 8,000 CFM56 engines in service worldwide, and this fleet has logged 100 million flight hours as the most reliable engines in the air.
1 The CFM56-3 powers the Boeing 737-300/-400/-500.