CFM International – Building Remarkable Engines with Dedicated Services

Posted on December 4, 2014 linda strong aviation manufacturer

As a joint venture between American firm GE Aviation and Snecma (Safran) of France, CFM International is a multinational rocket engine manufacturer with headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Paris, France. Established in 1974, CFM International produces the CFM56 family of jet engines-making more than 22,000 engines for over 500 satisfied customers worldwide over the years. The name CFM is not an acronym and, therefore, does not stand for anything. It is merely a combination of the two parent companies’ terms for commercial engines: GE’s CF6 and Snecma’s M56.

The work split takes advantage of the rich aviation heritage and technical expertise of both companies. GE Aviation is in charge of the CFM56 core, which is derivative of GE’s F101 engine that was developed for the Rockwell/Boeing B-1 Lancer bomber. The CFM56 core consists of a high-pressure compressor, high-pressure turbine, and combustor. Snecma’s responsibility lies in the low-pressure turbine in the tail of the engine, which propels the CFM56 fan in the front, also designed by Snecma.

Over 520 global airlines, regional charter operators, and militaries fly with CFM engines as their powerhouses. With over 22,000 engines delivered, a CFM56-equipped plane takes off every 2.5 seconds. CFM’s in-demand product portfolio comprises of the following six engine models:

  • CFM56-5C: The most powerful of the CFM56 family, this engine flies the Airbus 340-200 and A340-300 long-range 4-engine wide-body fleet of commercial airliners. It has the softest sounding engine in its thrust class (31,200-34,000 pounds of thrust), the lowest specific fuel consumption (SFC) of the CFM56 family, and sports a second-generation full authority digital engine control (FADEC).
  • CFM56-5A: This engine is the first to fly Airbus’ debut in the single-aisle jetliner market-the A320—as well as the Airbus A319. Since its creation in 1988, over 1,100 of this engine model with 22,000-26,500 pounds of thrust have logged in 40 million flight hours.
  • CFM56-3: This model powers the second generation of Boeing 737 aircraft-the 300, 400, and 500 series. It boasts 18,500-23,500 pounds of thrust. Roughly 4,500 of the CFM56-3 are operating worldwide since entering service in 1984.
  • CFM56-2: The forefather of them all, this engine with 22,000-24,000 pounds of thrust is the first high-bypass engine in the 10-ton class. It first powered the re-engined Boeing 707 in 1982, and the US Air Force selected it to re-engine the KC-135 tankers soon after. Today, it powers the Boeing DC-8 Super 70, the KC-135 Stratotanker, and the E-3 Sentry AWACS.
  • CFM56-7B: This turbofan engine with 18,500-27,300 pounds of thrust is the exclusive engine servicing the Boeing Next-Generation single-aisle airliner-737-600/-700/-800/-900/-900ER/BBJ. Its military applications includes the C-40 Clipper military transport, the P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine aircraft, and the Boeing 737 AEW&C reconnaissance aircraft. Since debuting in 1994, roughly 8,400 units of this model are flying today, logging over 150 million flight hours.
  • CFM56-5B: This turbofan engine with 22,000-33,000 pounds of thrust powers roughly 60% of all Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 ordered. This model was the first in the industry to have advanced double annular combustor (DAC) technology, which reduced oxides of nitrogen emissions by 45%.

In addition to the CFM56 family of engines, CFM International has the brand new LEAP turbofan engine family-the engine of choice for the next-generation single-aisle jetliners:

  • LEAP-1A: With 24,500-32,900 pounds of thrust, this is one of two engines picked (the other being Pratt & Whitney’s PW1100G) to power the new fleet of Airbus A320neo.
  • LEAP-1B: With 23,000-28,000 pounds of thrust, this is the only engine picked by Boeing to fly its 737 MAX.
  • LEAP-1C: With 27,980-30,000 pounds of thrust, this is the only Western-made engine picked by China’s COMAC to fly its C919.

With GE Aviation possessing over US$20 billion in revenues and Snecma having US$6.58 billion in sales, their joint venture CFM International boasts an impressive US$114 billion backlog fueled by the demand for their innovative LEAP engines.

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