Hardware for a total of four advanced CFM56-7BE certification engines is currently being amassed in Evendale, Ohio, and Villaroche, France, paving the way for engine build up this summer and the first engine test in September of this year.
CFM International (CFM) plans to complete extensive ground certification tests in the third and fourth quarters of 2009, including performance and acoustics testing. In early 2010, the -7BE configuration will begin flight tests at GE Aviation facilities in Victorville, California, in preparation for engine certification in the third quarter of that year. Flight tests on the Next-Generation 737 are planned for later in 2010, followed by aircraft certification and entry into service in mid-2011.
The CFM56-7BE-powered Next-Generation 737 enhanced airplane/engine combination will provide a 2 percent improvement in fuel consumption, which, in turn, equates to a 2 percent reduction in carbon emissions. Additionally, the enhanced -7B will provide up to 4 percent lower maintenance costs, depending on the thrust rating.
The CFM56-7BE engine enhancement program, which CFM International (CFM) launched earlier this year, is scheduled to enter airline service in mid-2011 to coincide with Boeing Next-Generation 737 airframe improvements.
CFM is using advanced computer codes and three-dimensional design techniques to improve airfoils in the high- and low-pressure turbines to improve engine performance. In addition, CFM is improving engine durability and reducing parts count to achieve lower maintenance costs.
CFM is a 50/50 joint company of Snecma (Safran Group) and General Electric Company. CFM is the world's leading manufacturing of commercial aircraft engines and has produced nearly 20,000 engines to date.
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