SINGAPORE February 26, 2002 The CFM Project TECH56 validation phase continues its highly successful progress, with component tests yielding results that are meeting or exceeding program goals.
CFM International (CFM), the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines, is a 50/50 joint company of Snecma Moteurs (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States.
With Project TECH56, CFM is developing and maturing technology that will define the state of the art for decades. Focusing on simpler designs, better efficiency, lower overall cost of ownership, and reduced environmental impact, CFM is looking at every major component to find ways to make the best products in the industry even better. At GE and Snecma (Safran Group) facilities, Project TECH56 components have undergone extensive testing, putting real hardware in real CFM56 engines, simulating a real CFM operating environment.
CFM has successfully tested a solid 61-inch, swept wide chord fan blade on a modified CFM56-7 engine, including performance, acoustics and crosswind testing. The blades also completed bird ingestion and blade-out rig tests. A 68-inch, hollow swept wide chord fan is undergoing mechanical, performance, and acoustic tests on a modified CFM56-5C engine. The Snecma-designed fan has undergone more than 50 hours of rig and ground tests. In late 2001, the fan completed initial acoustic testing at GE's Peebles, Ohio, outdoor test facility to characterize its noise signature, and is undergoing 2.5-, 4-, and 6-pound bird ingestion rig tests at Snecma (Safran Group) facilities in Villaroche, France. Thus far, the fan has met or exceeded design point flow and efficiency goals. Fan tests completed to date include: verification of the mechanical integrity of a new aluminum fan frame with integrated outlet guide vanes (OGVs); validation of the aeromechanics of the hollow aft-swept fan blades; design point performance; and fan acoustic mapping, using a variable fan nozzle which allows evaluation at different pressure ratios. CFM is currently conducting performance mapping at Villaroche and will return the engine to Peebles for crosswind testing by mid-year. A full-scale engine blade-out test is scheduled at Villaroche for late 2002.
CFM is on schedule to test a new booster design on a CFM56-5B engine. The objective is to achieve higher reliability with fewer parts by eliminating the variable bleed valves (VBVs).
The second build of the advanced six-stage high-pressure compressor (HPC) has successfully completed full-scale rig testing, with a third build scheduled to go on test later this year. The HPC design achieves much higher stage loading with fewer airfoils and rotors, thus providing operators with high efficiency and lower maintenance costs. Build I, which completed testing in 2000, achieved design intent airflow and demonstrated outstanding operability. Build II featured newly contoured airfoils to maintain operability and improve efficiency. CFM recorded more the 1,430 data points on this build during tests that encompassed: variable stator vane (VSV) optimization for operating line performance and stall margin, mapping with inlet distortion, blade tip clearance variation, bleed flow variation, and simulated altitude variation. The compressor demonstrated a low sensitivity to all of these variations, proving it's robustness for the real engine operating environment. Testing has confirmed a substantial efficiency improvement with no compromise in operability, establishing a new standard of performance for this class of compressor. Overall, the HPC has completed more than 335 hours of testing at GE's compressor test facility in Lynn, Massachusetts.
After completing extensive full-scale rig tests of the Twin Annular, Pre-Swirl (TAPS) combustor in 2000, CFM launched full-scale engine tests. Installed in a modified CFM56-7 engine, the combustor completed acoustic, performance and operability testing, in addition to hail ingestion tests. Results continue to be outstanding, with emissions meeting all requirements with significant margin. In late 2001, the TAPS went back on test with a new fuel nozzle design that incorporates design refinements identified during former tests. Initial testing has confirmed that the new simplified design improves reliability without compromising emissions, performance or operability. The combustor is currently undergoing endurance testing.
CFM is the only manufacturer with more than 190 million hours of experience with a single-stage high-pressure turbine. Project TECH56 is taking that experience to the next level, developing simpler designs and improving efficiency. CFM has completed several successful high-pressure turbine tests, in addition to counter-rotating dual-spool rig tests. Testing of a third-generation low-pressure turbine design with a 35 percent reduction in parts count versus the current CFM56 configuration is under way.
CFM International is a joint company of Snecma (Safran Group), France and General Electric Company, U.S.A.