Ten years after Airbus Industrie launched its first single-aisle aircraft into revenue service with the CFM56-5A, the CFM56-5A and -5B/P remain the engines of choice for the A319/A320/A321 family. By providing the highest reliability and lowest overall cost of ownership, the CFM56-5 has garnered more than 60 percent of A320 sales.
The CFM56-5 is produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States.
The CFM56-5 has been the launching engine on each A320 aircraft model introduced, and has been selected to power 1,099 of the 1,785 A320 family aircraft on order or, 62 percent of this market. CFM also has the largest A320 operator base and counts among its customers Air Canada, Air France, Alitalia, All Nippon, Austrian, Iberia, Lufthansa, Northwest, Sabena, Swissair, and US Airways. These airlines have in service or on order the largest A320 fleets in the industry.
One of the primary factors behind the CFM56-5's broad-based market acceptance has been its simple, rugged architecture, which gives it the highest reliability, durability, and repairability in its class. In addition, CFM continually invests in technology enhancements that make the engines even better.
The CFM56-5 maintains a dispatch reliability rate of 99.94 percent (less than one departure per 2,000 delayed or canceled for engine-related issues); an in-flight shutdown rate of .006 (one event per 166,666 flight hours); and a shop visit rate of .088 (one unscheduled, engine-caused shop visit per 11,365 flight hours).
In addition, CFM56-5 engines are averaging 14,000 hours on wing prior to initial shop visit, and more then 10,000 hours after overhaul. Single-aisle aircraft such as the A320 average about 3,500 hours per year; no other engine in this thrust class can match this record. The CFM56-5 also has the advantage in global cost of ownership, which is determined by such factors as shop visit rate, life-limited parts, in-flight shutdown rate, delays and cancellations, and fuel burn.
The CFM56-5-powered A320 fleet currently in service has logged more than 13 million engine flight hours and 8.5 million cycles. The first A320 entered service powered by the CFM56-5A engine in 1988. In 1994, CFM expanded the thrust range from 22,000 to 32,0001 pounds (97 to 1421 kN) thrust with the introduction of the CFM56-5B. The company certified the advanced technology CFM56-5B/P, which is now the standard -5B configuration, in 1996 to provide operators with significant improvements in fuel consumption, engine reliability and durability. CFM also developed its advanced double annular combustor (DAC) for the Airbus A320 family. The DAC, which entered service with Swissair and Austrian in 1995 and was most recently selected by Sabena Belgian Airlines and Finnair for their A320s, dramatically reduces NOx (oxides of nitrogen) emissions. Current CFM56 DAC emissions levels are approximately 50 percent below current requirements.