CFM International today formally opened a new CFM56 training center in Hyderabad, India, satisfying a commitment made to its customers in 2007. The Hyderabad complex–the fourth such engine maintenance training center for CFM56 customers worldwide–holds the capacity to train 500 engineers annually and mirrors facilities in China, France, and the U.S.
CFM International has said its new CFM56-7BE turbofan, which will have a 2-percent fuel-burn improvement over current production engines, is “progressing on schedule” and will start a 150-hour certification block-test to “triple redline conditions” within “the next few weeks.” This will lead to a 50-hour flight test program on General Electric’s flying test bed aircraft later this year, with flight tests on a Boeing 737NG due in early 2011 ah
CFM International continues to work “on a daily basis” with Boeing and Airbus on new engine applications for the 737 and A320 families, according to Eric Bachelet, president and CEO of the General Electric-Snecma joint venture.
The recent selection of CFM International’s LEAP-X1C engine to power the 150- to 190-seat C919 airliner family being developed by Commercial Aircraft of Corp. of China (Comac) marks the start of one of the most significant aerospace collaborations between China and the West.
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has selected CFM International CFM56-5B engines to power 20 Airbus A320 family aircraft it has on order, in a deal worth around $270 million. The aircraft are due for delivery starting in 2011.
GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. (GHIAL), has signed an agreement with CFM International to establish a new CFM56 maintenance training center to support its customers in the South Asian region. GMR Group is a Bangalore-based global infrastructure conglomerate with interests in airports, energy, highways and urban infrastructure.
Safran and General Electric are stepping up activities at their newly formed nacelle joint venture with the appointment of Steve Walters as president. The Cincinnati-based alliance between Safran subsidiary Aircelle and GE’s Middle River Aircraft Systems business was launched in December 2008.
New engine orders slumped badly for CFM International during the first five months of this year. The French-U.S. partnership sold just 303 engines through May 31–less than a quarter of the (admittedly exceptional) total of 1,342 sold in the same period in 2008.
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.
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.