CFM International (CFMI) and Aviation Industries of China (AVIC) have formed a joint leadership council to coordinate all cooperative activities between CFMI and AVIC and to promote a closer working relationship between the organizations.
CFMI, the world's leading aircraft engine supplier, is a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States.
The leadership council, which is jointly chaired by the presidents of CFMI and AVIC, is charged with fostering long-term business relationships and discussing strategic issues. The council will also monitor ongoing industrial cooperation efforts and review proposed cooperative programs, in addition to providing marketing and research support. The organization will also review potential new revenue-sharing and joint venture opportunities. The council is supported by representatives from AVIC, GE, and Snecma who will explore potential projects and recommend activities to the leadership council.
Another key focus of the leadership council is the periodic review of the development status of AVIC's 100-passenger AE-100 aircraft, CFMI's CFM56-9 engine program, and CFM56 product strategy. AVIC recently signed a framework agreement with Airbus Industrie, Singapore Technologies, and Finmeccanica of Italy outlining the joint development of this new 100-seat aircraft family, which is scheduled to enter service in the year 2003.
As a proposed powerplant for the AE-100, the CFM56-9 combines proven, state-of-the-art technology with inherent CFM56 reliability. CFMI has completed more than 70 percent of the design work and is prepared to certify the engine within three years of aircraft launch to meet aircraft certification requirements.
The CFM56-9 is a low-cost, derivative engine sized to meet the thrust requirements of the 100-passenger aircraft market. It is targeted to have 5 percent better specific fuel consumption and 20 percent lower direct maintenance costs than the industry-leading CFM56-31 at the same thrust level.
The engine's performance advantage is due, in part, to the 3-D aero technology used in the high and low pressure turbines and the high pressure compressor for increased efficiency. This technology is currently being proven in service on the CFM56-5B/P and will enter service on the CFM56-7 later this year. The CFM56-9 shares a common core with these engines. This commonality will provide significant operating cost benefits to airlines already operating CFM56-powered fleets.
Another significant CFM56-9 advantage is the single stage high pressure turbine. This design feature, which has proven performance and reliability advantages, also translates to an engine with lower cost, lower weight, and less complexity.
The engine will be equipped with a single annular, low emissions combustor that will easily meet all anticipated regulations. CFMI is also incorporating its advanced Full Authority Digital Electronic Control system, which is fully integrated for ease of maintenance and multifunctional capability.