CFM International's CFM56 product line continues to lead the industry, powering the majority of all new, large, commercial aircraft ordered in 1994 and in the first four months of 1995.
CFM International (CFMI) was established in 1974 as a 50/50 joint company of Snecma (Safran Group) and General Electric of the United States. Today, there are more than 10,000 CFM56 engines in service, or on order, with nearly 200 customers in 76 countries. Over the past decade, CFMI has gained a 37 percent share of the overall 100+ passenger commercial aircraft market.
In 1994, CFM56 engines were chosen to power about 65 percent of the 352 firm and option aircraft ordered. This market share is based upon all orders for aircraft with a capacity of 100 passengers or more, including those aircraft for which CFM56 engines are not offered. In addition, CFM56 engines have been selected to power 138 of the 178 aircraft ordered through 30 April in 1995.
The newest engine in the CFM56 family, the CFM56-7, has been designed to power next-generation Boeing 737-600/-700/-800 series aircraft. Rated from 18,500 to 26,400 pounds (82 to 117 kN) takeoff thrust, the CFM56-7 offers better performance, improved acoustics and emissions levels, and lower cost of ownership than the CFM56-3 engines that power the current-generation 737.
The CFM56-7 is being developed using an integrated team approach, which has involved Boeing and airline customers in the design process from the beginning. The CFMI/Boeing design team has undertaken such initiatives as the Propulsion System Service Ready and the Computer-Aided Design programs to ensure that the right product is delivered on time.
The CFM56-7 is a state-of-the-art engine that features solid, wide chord fan blades, 3D aero design, new materials technology, an advanced FADEC (Full Authority Digital Electronic Control) system, and the optional low NOx Double Annular Combustor (DAC). Thus, the engine provides airlines with the most advanced technology while retaining the reliability and maintainability that have made the CFM56 family the industry leader.
The first CFM56-7 engine went to test on schedule at Snecma (Safran Group) facilities in Villaroche on 28 April, paving the way for first flight on a modified Boeing 747 flying testbed in January 1996, and engine certification the following October, less than 40 months after program launch.
The engine has operated for a total of more than 13 hours to date and has achieved its rated thrust. In addition to the initial break-in run, the CFM56-7 has also completed power calibration and preliminary performance runs. Initial data analysis indicates that results meet all pre-test predictions.
Over the next few months, the engine will continue to run performance evaluation and fan mapping tests. The CFM56-7 is scheduled for first flight on the Boeing 737-700 in early 1997 and will enter service with Southwest Airlines that fall. The CFM56-7-powered 737-800 enters service in March 1998 with Hapag Lloyd, while the 737-600 is scheduled to enter service with Scandinavian Air Systems in August 1998.