On-schedule CFM56-7BE starts 150 hr block test

CFM reports that its new CFM56-7BE engine is on schedule for its planned certification date later year as it enters the 150-hour block test which will pave the way for the flight test programme in the near future.

The block test – a certification requirement and described as one of the most gruelling to which an engine can be subjected – entails operation of the engine at what is referred to as triple redline: maximum fan speed, maximum core speed, and maximum exhaust gas temperature. The test simulates conditions far more extreme than would ever be experienced in normal commercial service so as to validate the reliability and durability of the hardware.

The first full CFM56-7BE type design engine completed ground testing in January, and engine operation and performance was as expected. In the second quarter of this year, the -7BE configuration will begin a 50-hour flight test programme on GE’s flying testbed in Victorville, California.

Engine certification is due in mid-2010, after which flight tests will begin on the Next-Generation 737. The flights are planned for early 2011, to be followed by aircraft certification and entry into service in mid-2011.

The CFM56-7BE-powered Next-Generation 737 enhanced aircraft–engine combination is designed to provide a 2% improvement in fuel consumption, which, in turn, equates to a 2% reduction in carbon emissions. Additionally, the enhanced -7B should provide up to 4% lower maintenance costs, depending on the thrust rating.

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