Since entering revenue service with Southwest Airlines in December 1997, the CFM56-7 has had an outstanding first 18 months in service powering the Boeing 737-600/-700/-800 series.
The CFM56-7 is produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States.
To date, the CFM56-7-powered 737 fleet has logged more than 800,000 flight hours and more than 430,000 flight cycles. By year's end, the fleet will have accumulated 2.5 million flight hours.
The delivery schedule for this engine/aircraft combination during the first year represents the most rapid ramp up in aviation history, with more than 160 aircraft delivered by the end of 1998. CFM has executed its production plan flawlessly and is meeting its delivery commitments. The production schedule will continue to be strong in 1999, with more than 600 CFM56-7 engines scheduled for production this year; 450 Next-Generation 737s will be in service by year end.
Despite this unprecedented fleet build up, the engine has maintained reliability numbers comparable to more mature engines. Currently, the CFM56-7 has a dispatch reliability rate of 99.93 percent meaning that less than one per 1,000 is delayed or canceled for engine-related issues. The engine also has a .013 shop visit rate, and a .015 in-flight shutdown rate. As a result of its in-service reliability, the CFM56-7 has received 120-minute ETOPS (extended range, twin-engine operations) from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. CFM is working with Boeing, regulatory agencies, and airlines to achieve 180-minute approval by year end. The CFM56-7 has been able to achieve these outstanding rates in very demanding circumstances. For example, Southwest 737s, which have the highest utilization rate of the fleet, accumulate an average of 13 flights per day.
The only operational issues in the first year have been with the accessory gearbox and the engine's hydromechanical unit (HMU). In both cases, CFM has identified the root causes and implemented appropriate modifications: retrofit of the gearbox was completed last summer; delivery and retrofit of a new HMU version are currently under way.
The CFM56-7 engine was developed to provide Next-Generation 737 operators with substantial improvements versus the industry-leading CFM56-3 on the classic 737, including dramatically lower operating costs, better performance, higher reliability, and improved operability. By incorporating such advanced technology as three-dimensional aero design, a high efficiency wide chord fan, and advanced electronic engine control, the CFM56-7 is fulfilling that promise in service.
Scandinavian Airlines System launched CFM's advanced double annular combustor on the 737 after taking delivery of its first 737-600 in September 1998. The airline has also ordered DAC-equipped engines for its 737-700 and 737-800 aircraft. CFM is the only manufacturer to offer advanced low NOx emissions technology in this thrust class. To date, there have been more than 1,140 announced orders for CFM56-7-powered Boeing Next-Generation 737-600/-700/-800/-900 aircraft.
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