South African Airways Launches CFM56-5C/P On Airbus A340 Enhanced With $120 Million Order

March 7, 2002

South African Airways today launched the advanced CFM56-5C/P on the Airbus A340-300 Enhanced with a $120 million order for engines to power six of the long-range, four-engine aircraft. The airline is scheduled to begin taking delivery of the airplanes in 2004.

The CFM56-5C is the sole powerplant for the Airbus A340-200 and -300. The entire CFM56 family is produced by CFM International (CFM), a 50/50 joint company between Snecma Moteurs (Safran Group), France, and General Electric, U.S.A. CFM is the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines. SAA, which will begin taking delivery of the A340-300 Enhanced in 2004, became a CFM customer in 2000 when it began taking delivery of CFM56-7-powered Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Today's announcement, which was the culmination of months of in-depth analysis, was part of an extensive fleet renewal program the airline has undertaken to enable it to meet stringent noise requirements at airports on its international routes, in addition to lowering its maintenance costs and incorporating more fuel efficient aircraft into its fleet to help ensure long-term profitability. CFM initiated ground testing of the CFM56-5C/P engine last November, paving the way for engine certification in 2003. Earlier this year, a second engine entered the ground test program that will ultimately include four test engines and a two-phase flight test program. More than 400 hours of certification ground tests are planned, including: performance, operability, mechanical response, control system, and ingestion testing. The initial flight test program will encompass 50 hours of performance and operability tests on an A340 aircraft.

CFM also plans to go beyond normal certification test requirements to demonstrate the CFM56-5C/P's long-term durability and reliability prior to entry into service. The company will begin an endurance test program in late 2002 that will encompass several thousand engine cycles simulating many years of severe field operation on an accelerated basis. The CFM56-5C/P-interchangeable with the current configuration CFM56-5C-incorporates an advanced three-dimensional aerodynamic (3-D aero) high-pressure compressor and high-pressure turbine. A new stage one low-pressure turbine nozzle has been developed to integrate with the engine's current low-pressure turbine.

This engine will become the production configuration for the CFM56-5C beginning in 2004, and the hardware will also be offered to current A340 customers as an upgrade kit. Benefits include a 1 percent improvement in specific fuel consumption, compared to the -5C4, and a 13* centigrade increase in exhaust gas temperature (EGT) margin. This additional margin will result in maintenance cost reductions of at least 10 percent compared to the current configuration. The CFM56-5C/P will maintain the CFM56-5C noise signature, which is the quietest in its class. The CFM56-5C-powered A340 meets all current noise regulations with a cumulative margin of 23 EPNdB (effective perceived noise in decibels).

Jamie Jewell

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Charles Soret

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Perry Bradley

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Talal Ahmed Almahmood

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