CFM International continues to study new engine programs that could expand the thrust range of its CFM56 engine family up to 50,000 pounds (222 kN) takeoff thrust for potential future aircraft.
CFM International (CFMI) is a 50/50 joint company of Snecma (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States.
On the lower end of the thrust spectrum, CFMI is conducting on-going studies with aircraft manufacturers worldwide to develop an engine to power potential new 100-passenger aircraft which could enter service beyond the year 2000. CFMI is currently evaluating the CFM56 Lite, a low-cost derivative engine that would provide significant savings in direct operating costs while maintaining high reliability. The CFM56 Lite, rated in the 18,000 to 22,000 pound (80 to 98 kN) thrust class, would couple the new CFM56-7 core with a smaller, wide chord fan and an advanced FADEC (Full Authority Digital Electronic Control) system. This market could require between 1,000 to 2,000 new aircraft over the next 20 years.
To meet engine requirements for potential new 300-passenger aircraft, CFMI is evaluating configurations for the CFMXX. The primary design objective is to combine the best proven technology with new advancements to improve performance and reduce the cost of ownership. Potential applications include growth versions of current aircraft, requiring an engine in the 45,000 pound (200 kN) thrust range, as well as new and derivative twin-engine aircraft requiring 35,000 to 50,000 pounds (155 to 222 kN) thrust that would enter service around the year 2000.
The launch of either of these programs depends on market conditions and requirements, and will be linked to the decisions of aircraft manufacturers and their customers.