CFM launches CFM56-7B Evolution for upgraded 737NGs
CFM International has announced the new CFM56-7B Evolution engine enhancement programme, scheduled to enter airline service in mid-2011 to coincide with Boeing Next-Generation 737 airframe improvements.
The CFM56-7B Evolution-powered 737NG enhanced aeroplane/engine combination will provide a 2% improvement in fuel consumption, which, in turn, equates to a 2% reduction in carbon emissions. Additionally, the enhanced -7B will provide up to 4% lower maintenance costs, depending on the thrust rating.
CFM is using advanced computer codes and three-dimensional design techniques to improve airfoils in the high- and low-pressure turbines to improve engine performance. In addition, the OEM is improving engine cooling techniques and reducing parts count to achieve lower maintenance costs.
The first engine is scheduled to begin ground testing in September of this year. In early 2010, the -7B Evolution configuration will begin flight tests at GE Aviation facilities in Victorville, California, paving the way for engine certification in the third quarter. Flight tests on the upgraded 737 are planned for later in 2010, followed by aircraft certification and entry into service in mid-2011.
Once certified, the Evolution engine will carry the designation CFM56-7BE.
The illustration shows a mock-up highlighting (in red) the hardware changes being incorporated into the new CFM56-7B Evolution engine. From left to right: outlet guide vanes; high-pressure turbine; low-pressure turbine.