FARNBOROUGH, England July 14, 2008 In the past 12 years, CFM International has invested more than $2 billion to develop and certify new engine configurations and product upgrades that are providing lower fuel consumption, lower NOx and carbon emissions, and longer time on wing to benefit both new customers and operators of more mature fleets.
CFM International (CFM) is a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) and General Electric Company.
From its initial launch, CFM has continually improved the CFM56 product line. For example, the evolution from the CFM56-3 engine powering the Boeing 737 Classic to the CFM56-7B engine for the Boeing Next-Generation 737 introduced in 1997 provided substantial productivity benefits for airlines. CFM was able to reduce specific fuel consumption by 7 percent, while increasing engine thrust by more than 16 percent and adding an additional 500 nautical miles in range. That means more passengers/payload could be carried on longer routes. Plus, the CFM56-7B provides one bill of materials over five different aircraft models.
Likewise, the CFM56-5B provided nearly 25 percent more thrust compared to the CFM56-5A and reduced fuel consumption by about 3 percent (depending on the application) while enabled CFM to also power the entire A320 aircraft family with one bill of materials.
With current oil prices lingering at more than $130 per barrelup nearly 60 percent from a year agojet fuel has now emerged as the single largest contributor to airline operating costs. CFM's sizeable investment has provided technology that is helping to lessen that burden.
Since 1996 alone, the company has introduced three new engine models (CFM56-5C/P, CFM56-5B Tech Insertion and CFM56-7B Tech Insertion). On average, these engines have provided a 1 percent improvement in fuel consumption, as well as improving aircraft NOx and carbon emissions, while improving time on wing. Approximately 1,350 Tech Insertion production engines have been delivered since April 2007.
At the same time, CFM has introduced three technology upgrade programs (CFM56-3 Advanced Upgrade; CFM56-5C/P; CFM56-5B/-7B Tech Insertion). Again, these programs have provided an average of a 1 percent improvement in fuel consumption.
To date, nearly 1,000 engines have incorporated the CFM56-3 Advanced Upgraded. For 20-aircraft fleet, this package can save operators more than 700,000 gallons of fuel and nearly 7,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually.
Since July 2007, nearly 200 engines have incorporated Tech Insertion high-pressure turbine hardware during a shop visit. CFM is in the process of certifying a Tech Insertion compressor upgrade kit, which could provide up to 1 percent lower fuel consumption over the life of the product. (Note: this is not in addition to the 1 percent noted above; the total Tech Insertion fuel improvement is 1 percent over the life of the product).
For a 20-aircraft fleet, Tech Insertion could save as much as 275000 gallons of fuel per year, which equates to more than $1 million at current prices. This lower fuel consumption would also reduce carbon emission by 2,600 metric tons per year. This technology also provides longer time on wing and lower maintenance costs while meeting the new International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Committee of Aviation Environmental Protection standards.
All engines that incorporate these technology upgrades may qualify for TRUEngineTM status, a new designation which helps the industry more accurately appraise used CFM56 engines and to enhance the resale value of these assets. To qualify for TRUEngineTM status, the engine configuration, engine overhaul practices, spare parts and repairs used to service the engine must be consistent with CFM requirements for that engine model. In addition, all maintenance must comply with CFM-issued engine manuals and other maintenance recommendations. The qualification data is obtained through a combination of fleet operational and maintenance records.
The $2 billion investment also funded Project TECH56, a technology acquisition program that led to the new Tech Insertion production configuration. That same program served as the foundation for the launch of a new baseline engine, LEAP-X. This engine will provide up to 16 percent lower fuel burn (engine contribution) compared to current Tech Insertion engines and could be certified by 2016.