LE BOURGET June 16, 2003 The European Joint Airworthiness Authorities have certified the CFM56-5B-powered Airbus A318. Certification by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administation is expected in June, paving the way for Frontier Airlines to take delivery of its first airplane in July 2003.
The CFM56-5B is a member of the CFM56 engine family produced by CFM International (CFM), a 50/50 joint company between Snecma Moteurs (Safran Group) of France and General Electric Company. With more than 13,500 engines in service, CFM is the world's leading aircraft engine supplier.
In 2002, CFM certified two new thrust ratings for the A318: the CFM56-5B8, rated at 21,600 pounds (96 kN) thrust, and the CFM56-5B9, rated at 23,300 pounds (103.5 kN) thrust. No hardware changes were required for these new ratings.
Air France is scheduled to begin taking delivery of its A318s in October of this year. In addition to the Air France (15 firm, 10 option) and Frontier (five firm, five option) orders, GE Capital Aviation Services has 30 CFM56-5B-powered A318s on order and will receive its first airplane in 2004.
The CFM56-5B engines for the A318 are the same as those powering the Airbus A319/ A320/A321. As the only engine that can power every model of the A320 family with the same bill of materials, the CFM56-5B provides airlines a distinct commonality advantage, in addition to the lowest cost of operation on this application.
The CFM56-5 continues to be the engine of choice for the Airbus A320 family, having been selected to power 57 percent of all A320 family aircraft ordered to date. The high reliability, long on-wing life, and low maintenance costs of the CFM56 engine family make these engines extremely popular with leasing companies. One of the primary factors behind the engine's broad-based market acceptance has been its simple, rugged architecture, which gives it the highest reliability, durability, and repairability in its class.