CFM International has donated a CFM56-3 engine to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics to be used as a teaching tool in the school's Aero Learning Lab.
CFM International (CFM) is a 50/50 joint company between Snecma Moteurs (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States.
The Aero Learning Lab was created, in part, by a donation from the Gerhard Neumann Fund. Mr. Neumann, a former president of GE Aircraft Engines, was one of the founding fathers of CFM. In the early 1970s, he became close friends with then Snecma (Safran Group) president Ren Ravaud. The two shared a vision of bringing the benefits of high bypass turbofan technology to the commercial market. Together, they formed CFM. Although CFM faced many obstacles in the early years, the two pioneers saw that vision become a reality and completely change the face of commercial aviation. Today, CFM is the industry's leading supplier of aircraft engines with more than 12,000 in commercial and military service worldwide.
"We are delighted to make this presentation to MIT," said Grard Laviec, president and CEO of CFM International. "It is appropriate that a center of learning founded in Gerhard Neumann's name should have one of the engines he helped create."
Although CFM was formed in 1974, the company didn't receive its first order until 1979, when the CFM56-2 was selected to re-engine Douglas DC-8 commercial and Boeing KC-135 military tanker aircraft.
In 1981, Boeing helped secure CFM's fate when it selected the fledgling engine company to provide the sole powerplant for its 737-300/-400/-500 series of aircraft. At the time, both companies optimistically predicted they would sell about 400 airplanes; 4,450 engines and 1,987 airplanes later, the CFM56-3-powered 737 is a story for the record books. The final production Classic 737 aircraft was delivered in February 2000.
The CFM56-3-powered 737 fleet in service has logged more than 104 million flight hours and 74 million cycles since the first airplanes were delivered to Southwest Airlines and U.S. Airways in 1984. During this time, the CFM56-3 has consistently raised the standards for engine dependability and reliability. The fleet has a 99.98 percent departure reliability rate. The engine also maintains a .002 in-flight shutdown rate, or one event every 500,000 flight hours; this type of aircraft logs between 2,500 to 3,500 flight hours per year.
Despite having one of the highest daily utilization rates in the industry, the CFM56-3 continues to set records for time on wing. There is currently a CFM56-3 engine in service that has logged more than 34,500 hours on wing with nothing more than routine maintenance. On average, CFM56-3 engines stay on wing about 16,000 hours before requiring an initial shop visit.
Although CFM has shipped the final installed engine, the company will continue to produce between 20 and 30 spare engines per year for the next several years.