EVENDALE, OHIO February 6, 2006 CFM International has completed an extensive 63-hour flight test program on the company's CFM56-5B/CFM56-7B Tech Insertion package, paving the way for engine certification in June 2006 and entry into service in 2007.
CFM International (CFM) is a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) and General Electric Company. It is the world's leading aircraft engine manufacturer, with more than 15,500 engines delivered to date.
To date, CFM has completed certification high-pressure compressor performance tests, emissions tests, and icing tests. The first full Tech Insertion engine was installed on GE's modified 747 flying test bed in Victorville, California, in November 2005 and completed extensive performance and operability tests. Results of all tests to date have been outstanding, with the engine meeting or exceeding requirements. The engine is currently undergoing a 150-hour block test at Snecma (Safran Group) facilities in Villaroche, France and will complete hail ingestion testing in the first quarter of this year. Flight tests on the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 are scheduled for late 2006.
The CFM56 Tech Insertion program incorporates technologies developed and validated as part of Project TECH56 and includes improvements to the high-pressure compressor, the combustor, and the high- and low-pressure turbines. The package will provide operators with longer time on wing, about 5 percent lower maintenance costs, 15 - 20 percent lower oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions, and better fuel burn.
Tech Insertion will become the new production configuration for both the CFM56-7B and CFM56-5B. CFM is also defining potential upgrade kits that could be made available to operators by late 2007. There are more than 6,000 CFM56-5B and CFM56-7B engines currently in service.