Certification of CFM International's advanced new CFM56-7BE engine is progressing on schedule, with the successful completion of engine performance and acoustics testing of the new low-pressure turbine (LPT). The LPT completed approximately 14 hours of ground testing in September and October 2009 with outstanding results
"We couldn't be happier with the way the hardware performed," said Pierre-Yves Bourquin, Boeing Programs director for CFM International. "Fuel consumption was as we predicted and the engine operated flawlessly."
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.