CFM INTERNATIONAL (CFMI) will begin ground-testing the first improved CFM56-5B/P turbofan for the Airbus A320 family in July. The engine is based on the core of the CFM56-7 under development for the next-generation Boeing 737.

The new engines will have wide-chord fans, three-dimensional aerodynamic design, new materials and an advanced full-authority digital engine-control system, resulting in a 3% reduction in specific fuel-consumption, says the General Electric/Snecma consortium.

The CFM56-5B/P will enter service on the A321 in mid-1996, and the -7 will follow on the 737-700 in October 1997. Both engines will be available with an improved version of CFMI's low-emissions double-annular combustor (DAC), says executive vice-president William Clapper. Scandinavian Airline Systems has selected the DAC 2 for its 737-600s, he adds.

CFMI says that it is continuing to study a lower-thrust CFM56 Lite for new 100-seat airliners, and a more-powerful CFMXX for a growth version of the Airbus A340. The 80-100kN (18,000-22,000lb)-thrust Lite would have a 1.4m-diameter wide-chord fan, while the 155-220kN CFMXX would have a 2.1m fan.

Source: Flight International