- CFM International has completed a 95-hour demonstration program to evaluate the potential for an upgrade kit including three dimensional high pressure compressor aerodynamics (3-D aero) and turbine upgrades for the CFM56-3 engine to give operators better fuel efficiency, lower maintenance costs, and longer on-wing life.
CFM56-3 engines are produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma Moteurs (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States. There are currently 3,975 CFM56-3 engines powering 1,987 Boeing Classic 737s worldwide.
The demonstration tests showed that there are no technical limitations to this program and met all pre-test expectations. On average, CFM56-3 engines stay on wing 14,000 hours before requiring an initial shop visit and about 10,000 hours after overhaul. By incorporating 3-D aero in the engines turbomachinery, the engine will achieve an additional 15( centigrade in EGT margin. This additional margin provides significantly more time on wing, thus reducing engine maintenance costs. In addition, the technology would provide as much as a 1 percent improvement in specific fuel consumption.
Turbine upgrades being evaluated include new nozzle, blade and shroud materials, as well as improved cooling. These changes would result in longer component life with up to 50 percent lower scrap and repair costs.
Engine operation with this upgrade would be seamless to airlines, with no change in power management. CFM is currently evaluating the market potential for this upgrade. If the program is launched, the upgrade could be certified within 24 months.