CFM International's advanced CFM56-7 powerplant for the Boeing Next-Generation 737 family has been jointly certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the French Direction Gnrale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC), paving the way for aircraft certification and entry into service in 1997.
CFM International is a 50/50 joint company of Snecma (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States.
CFM56-7 compliance engines were delivered to Boeing Commercial Airplane Group in October and have been installed on the 737-700 in preparation for first flight in February 1997. Launch customer Southwest Airlines will take delivery of the first aircraft in October 1997. The CFM56-powered 737-800 will enter service in March 1998, while the 737-600 begins delivery in August of that year.
To date, the CFM56-7 has completed more than 2,300 hours of testing, including ground tests and a 100-hour flight test program on GE's modified 747 flying testbed, in preparation for 737-700 flight tests. Overall, the engine will have accumulated more than 3,600 hours by the time the aircraft makes its first flight.
Major certification tests included, among others, ingestion tests (water, hail, ice, and bird), engine blade-out, and the 750 "C" cycle and 150-hour block tests. In all areas, the CFM56-7 met or exceeded pre-test predictions.
Since the CFM56-7-powered 737 program was launched in 1993, it has become the fastest selling engine/aircraft combination in history. Announced orders now stand at 507 aircraft.