What turned out to be a big week for Boeing with the formal launch of its new 777X widebody also promises to be a big week for the engine that will power it, the GE9X. Dubai Airshow visitors can get a sneak preview of the 102,000-pound thrust turbofan through a new 3-D representation of the equipment at the GE Aviation exhibit (Chalet A9).
CFM International CFM56
In May this year the French-U.S. joint venture CFM International delivered the 25,000th example of its CFM56 turbofan, which powers Boeing Next-Generation 737s and the Airbus single-aisle family. Last month the 10,000th CFM56-7B for the 737 family was delivered, while next month deliveries of CFM56-5s for Airbus will pass 8,500. As well as these two influential single-aisle aircraft lines, the CFM56 also powers the Airbus A340-200/300.
GE Aviation started testing its new fourth-generation composite fan blades for the new GE9X turbofan, the company announced last week. Chosen to power the new Boeing 777X, the 100,000-pound-thrust-class engine promises a 10-percent fuel burn improvement over the GE90-115B–the engine that powers the Boeing 777-300ER.
CFM International, the General Electric/Snecma joint venture, expects to begin a second phase of ground testing for its 3-D woven resin transfer molding fan with its Moteur à Aubes de Soufflante en Composite Taille (Mascot) 2 fan-demonstrator engine. The fan is “foundational technology” for the CFM Leap engine that is scheduled to enter service in 2016.
Boeing’s confirmation in March that GE Aviation will provide the new GE9X engine to power its proposed 777X development marked the culmination of three years of preliminary work between the engine maker and the airframer in their quest to be in a position to promise a 10 percent reduction in fuel burn compared with the GE90-115B engines on the existing 777-300ER. Also promised is a 5 percent improvement in specific fuel consumption over rival widebody engines by 2020.
Airbus has raised its sales target for 2013 to 700 airliners after surpassing its target of 650 for last year with gross orders for 914 airplanes and a net order count of 833 after cancellations. But the European airframer has acknowledged that it is especially eager to get sales of its A380 widebody back on track after logging orders for only nine of the superjumbos in 2012.
Boeing Business Jet operators now have another option for CFM56-7B engine maintenance, repair and overhaul. Associated Air Center (AAC), StandardAero’s large transport-category completions center in Dallas, now offers CFM56-7B service through StandardAero’s engine overhaul facility in Winnipeg, Canada.
The European Aviation Safety Agency has issued certification of Airbus’s Sharklet wingtip device for CFM-powered A320 family narrowbodies, the manufacturer announced Monday. Airbus said it expects the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to issue its own approval “very soon.”
Gleaming on the Safran display (Stand 357) is a mock-up of the Snecma Silvercrest engine, which has been selected for the Cessna Citation Longitude super-midsize business jet. Displaying the model, which was first shown a few weeks ago at NBAA, underlines the fact that Silvercrest is now a program moving fast towards certification in 2015.
A J Walter Aviation has launched a new exchange service for complete fan blade sets. It offers a selection of CFM56 engine fan blade sets ready to ship and fit immediately. Blades are guaranteed fully overhauled, mapped and moment weighed and ready to fit. The cost of the replacement blades includes repair of the removed set of blades. AJW has stock immediately available for the CFM56-3, 56-5A and 56-7B; the CFM56-5B will be added early next year.
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