China Eastern Airlines has placed a $140 million order for CFM56-5B/P engines to power 10 new Airbus Industrie A320 aircraft scheduled for delivery between mid-1999 and late 2000.
CFM56-5B/P engines are produced by CFM International (CFM), a 50/50 joint company of Snecma (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States and the world's leading supplier of commercial transport aircraft engines.
China Eastern is the third largest airline in China, both in terms of fleet size and revenue passenger miles, and, in 1997, became the first Chinese airline traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The airline became a CFM customer in 1994 with an order for five CFM56-5C-powered long-range, four-engine Airbus A340 aircraft.
In addition to the ten new aircraft China Eastern is purchasing, the Shanghai-based airline is also leasing an additional 10 CFM-powered A320s. The first of these aircraft was delivered in late February, and the remaining leased airplanes will all be delivered by the year 2000.
"We are very happy to have this opportunity to further strengthen our relationship with China Eastern," said Phillip Zhang, CFM sales director for the China Region. "The confidence this airline has shown in our products by selecting them to power a large segment of its short-range fleet is highly gratifying. We are committed to continue to earn China Eastern's trust in the years to come."
Developed specifically for the Airbus Industrie A320 family, the CFM56-5B/P entered service on the Airbus A319 in August 1996. The engine has since entered service on the A320 and A321, and has maintained a 99.96 percent dispatch reliability rate with no in-flight shutdowns or aborted takeoffs in operational service.
The -5B/P's primary advantage is the 3 percent reduction in specific fuel consumption it provides compared to base CFM6-5B levels. The improvement is achieved through three-dimensional aerodynamic analysis techniques to design turbine blades to reduce losses at the blade tip and root, thus improving efficiency in the high pressure turbine. This same 3-D technology, coupled with computational fluid dynamics, also resulted in more efficient blading in the low pressure turbine and the high pressure compressor. The 3-D airfoils significantly reduce engine cycle temperatures and, as a result, increase the exhaust gas temperature (EGT) margin. The higher EGT margin ensures appreciably more time on wing, both first run and after a shop visit, and lowers maintenance costs relative to the base -5B levels.
The CFM56-5B/P powers all members of the A320 family and is now the standard production configuration for all -5B engines. In March 1997, the 32,000-pound-thrust CFM56-5B3/P was certified on the new 89-tonne Airbus A321-200. This growth version of the aircraft gives airlines much greater range than the A321-100.
The CFM56-5B/P core serves as the basis for the new CFM56-7 engine, as well as the proposed CFM56-9 engine for potential 100-passenger aircraft.