5C/P began flight tests today on the Airbus A340, paving the way for engine/aircraft certification and entry into service in late 2003.
The CFM56-5C, which powers the Airbus A340-200 and -300, is produced by CFM International (CFM). CFM, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma Moteurs (Safran Group) of France and General Electric Company, is the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines with more than 15,300 firm CFM56 engine orders from 350 customers worldwide.
South African Airways launched the CFM56-5C/P program earlier this year with an order for six aircraft. Swiss International Airlines, which will be the first airline to take delivery, has ordered 13 airplanes. The engine is being developed for both the A340 Enhanced aircraft and as an upgrade package for current CFM56-5C operators.
The engine was installed in the No. 2 position on the aircraft, and the flight lasted approxinatley 3.5 hours. Overall, the A340 flight test program will encompass 50 hours of performance and operability tests and culminate in certification in the fourth quarter of 2003. CFM began ground testing the CFM56-5C/P in November 2001. This test program, which is still ongoing, will ultimately include more than 400 hours of performance, operability, mechanical response, control system, block, and ingestion testing.
In early 2003, CFM will initiate an endurace test program that will encompass several thousand cycles. By simulating years of severe field operations on this accelerated basis, the company will demonstrate the CFM56-5C/P's long-term durability and reliability.
The -5C/P, which features new 3-D aero technology in the high-pressure compressor and a new high-pressure turbine blade design, will provide operators a 1 percent improvement in specific fuel consumption and a 13°C increase in exhaust gas temperature margin. This additional margin will result in 10 percent lower maintenance costs compared with the current configuration. The engine will maintain the CFM56-5C noise signature, which is the quietest in its class. The CFM56-5C-powered A340 meets all current noise regulations with a cumulative margin of 23 EPNdB (effective perceived noise in decibels). The CFM56-5C/P becomes the production configuration in 2004.