If it didn’t become immediately apparent when Boeing began alluding to time frames that implied a replacement of the 737 might not materialize until 2020, the company’s recent revelations of a new set of design enhancements certainly erased any doubts that a so-called follow-on will have to wait until designers and engineers squeeze all the efficiency and comfort available from the existing narrowbody family.
CFM International CFM56
CFM International (Hall 2 Stand B149) is studying a next generation of turbofans to power single-aisle commercial aircraft, hoping to secure a role in future replacements for the Airbus A320 family and the Boeing 737. Under the LEAP-X advanced turbofan program, joint venture partners Snecma and General Electric are pursuing innovations such as increased use of composite materials in engines.
If it didn’t become immediately apparent when Boeing began alluding to time frames that implied a replacement of the 737 might not materialize until 2020, the company’s recent revelations of new set of design enhancements certainly erased any doubts that a direct replacement will have to wait until designers and engineers squeeze all the efficiency and comfort available from the existing narrowbody family.
Snecma launched the Silvercrest core-engine demonstrator program in 2006, built the engine in 2007 and successfully completed testing of it in March 2008. Now the company is continuing its talks with airframers to find a first application for the 9,500- to 12,000-pound-thrust engine. “The Silvercrest is being considered for many programs,” said Laurence Finet, general manager of the Silvercrest program.
Boeing Business Jets and Airbus Corporate Jetliners could benefit from new engine technology planned to enter service on the next-generation 737 and A320 airliners from which they are respectively derived. CFM International is working on an advanced turbofan, targeting a 16-percent cut in fuel burn that could bring greater efficiency to these and other new bizliners.
Under the terms of a Memorandum of Agreement signed by GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. and CFM International, the two will work toward the development of a new CFM56 maintenance training center at Rajiv Gandhi Airport in Hyderabad. The center is envisioned to mirror CFM facilities operating in France, the U.S.
The in-development geared turbofan (GTF) has been attracting most of the headlines at engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney lately, and it does indeed promise to make a large leap in powerplant efficiency and environmental friendliness when it enters airline service in 2013.
Boeing yesterday announced a series of planned improvements to its 737 line the company says will result in a 2-percent decrease in fuel burn and a marked upgrade in cabin comfort and utility.
Operators and maintenance providers have long been concerned about OEMs limiting the ability of non-factory-authorized entities to repair components or mechanics using FAA-approved parts made under Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) regulations.
Engine maker CFM has chosen sides in the debate between proponents and opponents to composite materials on turbofan moving parts by introducing fibers woven in three dimensions for fan and even low-pressure turbine (LPT) blades. The bet on this next-generation composite manifests itself on the Snecma-General Electric venture's Leap-X “advanced turbofan” program.