With 17 of the 20 engine tests required for certification completed, the CFM56-7 is on schedule for October 31 certification by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the French Direction Generale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC).
The CFM56-7 is produced by CFM International (CFMI), a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States.
Over the past several weeks, CFMI has completed some of the most demanding certification tests, including the block test, fan blade out, large- and medium-bird ingestion, the ice slab, hail, and water ingestion, and the over-temperature tests.
Most significant of the three remaining certification tests is the overhaul 750 "C" cycle test. The test, currently underway, involves running the engine through a series of rapid and extreme power changes through 750 consecutive cycles that simulate in-service operation at extreme conditions. CFMI will complete the emissions and FADEC (Full Authority Digital Electronic Control) fault certification tests in July.
In April, CFMI completed a 100+ hour flight test program on a modified Boeing 747 flying testbed at GE facilities in Mojave, California. The engine met all objectives, providing measured altitude data throughout the entire flight envelope. The CFM56-7 is scheduled to begin flight tests on the new Boeing 737-700 in early 1997 and to enter service with Southwest Airlines in October 1997.
CFMI is the world's largest producer fo commercial jet engines with total orders for more than 10,500 engines at a value of nearly $40 billion.