CFM International has initiated test programs on two major components, a six-stage high pressure compressor and a reduced shock high pressure turbine, as part of the validation phase of Project TECH56.
The compressor rig will run for approximately 100 hours over six weeks and will validate the performance, operability, and aeromechanical characteristics of the new design. The high pressure turbine, which features a new blade design, will run for 75 hours over about four weeks.
CFM International (CFM) is a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States. The company launched Project TECH56 to identify and validate advanced new technology to serve as the basis for potential new and derivative engines and for potential upgrades to the current CFM56 product line.
The six-stage compressor rig is instrumented with both aero and aeromechanical sensors and CFM will complete extensive performance mapping from below the nominal operating line to stall, across various variable stator settings and tip clearance levels. This data will provide a greater understanding of the compressor's operation over a wide range of conditions. This compressor incorporates the latest advancements in 3-D aerodynamics, achieving a higher pressure ratio with fewer stages (six versus the current nine) and no sacrifice in performance or operability. The result is a compact, rugged compressor with fewer parts to further reduce maintenance costs. This compressor design could serve as the basis for a new CFM engine when the market requires one.
Building on its experience base as the only engine supplier with more than 145 million flight hours with a single stage high pressure turbine configuration, CFM has developed a new turbine design that reduces the downstream turbine shock strength and improves the interaction between the high and low pressure turbines. These reduced shock blades represent a major step forward in turbine technology.