With more than 70 percent of the design work complete on the new CFM56-9 (formerly the CFM56-Lite), CFM International (CFMI) is ready to meet market demands as a powerplant for the proposed new Asian 100-passenger aircraft . CFMI plans to certify the engine within three years of aircraft launch, a schedule that is matched to planned aircraft certification in 2001.
CFM International is a 50/50 joint company of Snecma (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States.
The CFM56-9 is a derivative engine tailored to the requirements of this specific application. The engine will share a common core with the new CFM56-7 and improved performance CFM56-5B/P. This commonality will provide significant operating cost benefits to airlines already operating CFM56-powered fleets. To meet aircraft requirements for 18,500 to 23,000 pounds thrust, the CFM56-9 will incorporate a 56-inch, solid titanium, wide chord fan.
The engine benefits from the advanced technology of both the CFM56-5B/P and -7, including 3-D aero design for the high pressure compressor and both the high and low pressure turbines, together with the proven low maintenance cost and high durability of the single-stage high pressure turbine. Design-to-cost is an essential program objective.
At the same time, the engine will maintain the industry standards for reliability established by the CFM56 family in more than 75 million flight hours and 50 million cycles. CFMI's primary objective is to provide airlines the best propulsion system for this application in terms of performance, maintainability, reliability, and overall cost of ownership.
CFMI sees a potential market for 1,200 aircraft of this size over the next 20 years and is holding ongoing business and technical discussions with all of the participants in the joint Asian development program.