CFM International today launched the new CFM56-7BE engine enhancement program scheduled to enter airline service in mid-2011 to coincide with Boeing Next-Generation 737 airframe improvements also announced today.
The CFM56-7BE-powered Next-Generation 737 enhanced airplane/engine combination will provide 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 is using advanced computer codes and three-dimensional design techniques to improve airfoils in the high- and low-pressure turbines to improve engine performance. In addition, CFM is improving engine cooling techniques and reducing parts count to achieve lower maintenance costs.
The first engine is schedule to begin ground testing in September of this year.
In early 2010, the -7BE configuration will begin flight tests at GE Aviation facilities in Victorville, California, paving the way for engine certification in the third quarter. Flight tests on the Next-Generation 737 are planned for later in 2010, followed by aircraft certification and entry into service in mid-2011.
The CFM56-7BE is a product of CFM International (CFM), a 50/50 joint company of Snecma (Safran Group) and General Electric Company. CFM is the world's leading manufacturing of commercial aircraft engines and has produced nearly 20,000 engines to date.