CFM International's advanced CFM56-7B27A/3 engine model has been jointly certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency for the U.S. Navy's P-8A Poseidon, paving the way for flight tests in 2009 and initial operational capability in 2013. The Navy plans to purchase 108 P-8As to replace its fleet of P-3C aircraft.
CFM International (CFM) is a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) and General Electric Company. CFM is part of the Boeing-led P-8A team that also includes Spirit AeroSystems, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, NAVAIR and GE Aviation.
The P-8A Poseidon is a derivative of the Next-Generation 737-800, also powered by the CFM56-7B family of engines, with increased gross weight capability. The aircraft will provide increased capability in long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
Other models of the CFM56-7B engine that will power the P-8A, also power the Boeing 737 AEW&C and C-40 aircraft. Each engine is rated at 27,300 pounds (121 kN) takeoff thrust and will meet the Poseidon?s demanding electrical output requirements to support flight deck and mission system operations.
The CFM56-7B family is one of the world's most reliable engines. More than 5,800 engines have been delivered to date, and the fleet has logged more than 86 million flight hours while maintaining an industry-leading 0.002 in-flight shutdown rate per 1,000 flight hours. This rate translates to one event every 500,000 flight hours.
Prior to certification, CFM completed an extensive series of engineering tests on the CFM56-7B engine earlier in 2008 to evaluate the its capabilities in extreme weather conditions. One engine successfully completed extensive icing tests at a special facility near Montreal (Quebec), Canada, to evaluate the CFM56-7B engine?s ability to meet the stringent icing requirements established by the Navy for this aircraft, including subjecting the engine to extreme conditions over an extended time period.
Another engine was subjected to the other temperature extreme. In a dedicated test cell at Snecma facilities in Villaroche, France, the engine successfully completed a series of thermal tests that included an entire engine build-up and series of tests actually included a simulation of a specific P-8A mission.