CFM INTERNATIONAL is to apply for clearance for extended-range twinjet operations (ETOPS) at entry into service for the CFM56-7B on the next-generation Boeing 737 series.

CFMI and Boeing hope that the move may entice long-range scheduled and charter operators to place earlier orders and expects strong interest in the initiative, particularly from carriers in Australia and New Zealand.

CFM56-7 programme manager, Bruce Hughes says: "We do not yet have agreement with the FAA [US Federal Aviation Administration] for the plan."

The ETOPS plan is based largely on system and structures commonality with the existing 737 and earlier versions of the CFM56. The CFM56-3 powered 737-300 and -5-powered Airbus A320-200 have already been given 120min ETOPS, which calls for a total inflight shut-down rate of no more than 0.050 per 1,000 ETOPS flying hours. The 180min requirement is 0.020.

Preparations are moving ahead to test-fly the first -7B on General Electric's 747-100 testbed at Mojave, California. The engine is scheduled to have initial ground runs at Peebles, Ohio, in early November, with flight tests beginning in January and continuing until March 1996.


Source: Flight International