On September 24, 1974, two aircraft engine manufacturers, Snecma (Safran Group) and General Electric Company, signed an agreement that would redefine international cooperation and help change the course of commercial aviation. That agreement formally launched CFM International (CFM) as a 50/50 joint company.
Today, CFM is the preferred supplier of commercial aircraft engines with a product line that serves as the industry benchmark for reliability and overall cost of ownership. More than 20,000 CFM56 engines have been delivered to date to 500 customers around the globe. Overall, CFM has received firm orders for 25,750 engines through September 2009.
In July 2008, the two parent companies signed a landmark agreement extending the 50/50 partnership to the year 2040. With this extension, GE and Snecma are strongly positioning CFM for continued long-term success in developing a next-generation of engines; the advanced LEAP-X engine currently under development could be certified by 2016. The agreement also provides for integrated services offerings for these future engines.
"CFM has had such a rich history, and there is still so much more to be written," said Eric Bachelet president and CEO of CFM. "With the full backing of Snecma and GE, we are in the midst of the most aggressive, far-reaching development program we have ever undertaken.
"LEAP-X will have a dramatic impact on the future of the short-to-medium range aircraft segment, and the open rotor configuration we are exploring could potentially revolutionize aircraft engine technology. It's an exciting time for our industry and I think that there has never been a better time to be a part of CFM."
Continual reinvestment in the CFM product line over the years has yielded engines that stay on wing longer, are more reliable, are more cost-effective to maintain, and have the lowest overall cost of ownership of any engine in this thrust class. In the past decade alone, CFM has invested more than $2 billion U.S. in funding the TECH56 and LEAP56 advanced technology development programs; certifying new engine configurations, most recently CFM56 Tech Insertion; and introducing product upgrades that are breathing new life into the mature fleet.