A CFM56-3 engine powering a Boeing 737-500 with Braathens S.A.F.E. reached 19,855 cycles without a single shop visit, setting a new world's record for time on wing. The previous record of 19,841 cycles was held by a CFM56-3 engine in service with Southwest Airlines.
The CFM56-3 is produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States and the world's largest supplier of commercial aircraft engines.
The CFM56-3C1 engine, which entered Braathens' fleet in October 1991, was removed after nearly six years of service due to life-limited parts in the core. The airline may soon break its own record as there are six additional -3 engines in its fleet that have logged more than 18,000 cycles without a shop visit. The Norwegian flag-carrier currently operates 27 CFM56-3-powered Boeing 737-400s and -500s and will begin taking delivery of the first of 16 firm and option Next-Generation 737-700 aircraft, powered by the CFM56-7, in 1998.
A CFM56-3 engine in service with Germania Flug is poised to set yet another time-on-wing record by year's end. The engine has been in service with the German charter and regional carrier since 1988 and has logged more than 28,000 engine flight hours without a shop visit. If the engine stays on wing for 30,000 hours, Germania will have set a new world's record.
Germania operates a fleet of 13 CFM56-3-powered Boeing 737-300 aircraft, and three additional engines in this fleet have logged more than 16,000, 18,000, and 22,000 hours, respectively, without a shop visit. When it takes delivery of the first of 12 Next-Generation 737-700 aircraft later this year, Germania, along with Maersk Air, will be the first European carriers to place the CFM56-7 into revenue service.
Since entering service in 1984, the CFM56-3 has established itself as the standard against which all other engines are judged in terms of reliability, durability, and cost of ownership. The fleet of nearly 1,800 CFM56-3-powered 737s in service worldwide have logged more than 61 million hours and 44 million cycles while maintaining a 99.98 percent dispatch reliability rate (one flight delayed or canceled for engine-caused reasons per 5,000 departures), a .070 shop visit rate (one unscheduled shop visit per 14,286 flight hours), and an in-flight shutdown rate of .003 (one incident per 333,333 hours).