The swept wide chord fan blade being developed as part of CFM Project TECH56 has completed full-scale performance, cross wind, and acoustics testing on a modified CFM56-7 engine, as well as bird ingestion rig tests, with outstanding results.
CFM Project TECH56 is a three-year technology acquisition program undertaken by CFM International (CFM) to serve as the basis for potential new and derivative engines, as well as to provide technology upgrades to the existing CFM56 product line. CFM is a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States.
The 61-inch solid blade configuration tested at Snecma facilities in Villaroche and GE's outdoor test facility near Peebles, Ohio, demonstrated more than two percent higher flow at speed compared to the CFM56-7 while offering the same peak efficiency as the CFM56-7. In the same size fan, the swept blade could provide five to six percent more thrust and as much as a one percent fuel burn improvement compared to the current CFM56-7 wide chord fan.
In rig tests, the swept fan blade achieved excellent results in the 1.5-, 2.5-, 4- and 6-pound bird ingestion tests.
During 2000, the third andfinal year of Project TECH56, CFM will peform comparable performance, cross wind, and ingestion tests on a 68-inch hollow swept fan blade. CFM will determine the ultimate application for this and other TECH56 technolgoies in the next 18 to 24 months.