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CFM56-7B powerplant for P-8A Poseidon on schedule for September certification

CFM International's advanced CFM56-7B powerplant for the U.S. Navy's P-8A Poseidon has successfully completed extensive ground tests and is on schedule for engine certification in late September 2008.  

CFM International (CFM) is a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (SAFRAN Group) and General Electric Company. CFM is part of the Boeing-led P-8A team that also includes Spirit AeroSystems, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, NAVAIR and GE Aviation.  

The Navy plans to purchase 108 P-8As to replace its fleet of P-3C aircraft. Initial operational capability is scheduled for 2013.  The first engines, delivered to Boeing in early May, were installed on the first airplane in June.  Boeing completed initial engine runs in early July,.  

In February of this year, a CFM56-7B engine successfully completed extensive icing tests at a special facility near Montreal (Quebec), Canada.  The engine ran for more than 30 hours in icing conditions and completed 19 different test points.  The test program was designed to evaluate the CFM56-7B engine's ability to meet the stringent icing requirements established by the Navy for this aircraft, including subjecting the engine to extreme conditions over an extended time period.  

In April, another CFM56-7B engine was subjected to the other temperature extreme.  In a dedicated test cell at Snecma facilities in Villaroche, France, the engine successfully completed a series of thermal tests that included an entire engine build-up (full EBU and aircraft nacelle hardware).  Tests were conducted with various fuel temperatures and engine power extraction loads to evaluate the thermal characteristics of the engine's fuel and oil systems.  One series of tests actually included a complete simulation of a specific P-8A mission. The P-8A Poseidon is a derivative of the Next-Generation 737-800, also powered by the CFM56-7, with increased gross weight capability.  The aircraft will provide increased capability in long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.  

A version of the CFM56-7 engine that will power the P-8A, also powers the Boeing 737 AEW&C and C-40 aircraft. Each engine is rated at 27,300 pounds (121 kN) takeoff thrust and will meet the Poseidon's demanding electrical output requirements to support flight deck and mission system operations.  

The CFM56-7 is one of the world's most reliable engines. More than 5,500 engines have been delivered to date, and the fleet has logged more than 80 million flight hours while maintaining an industry-leading 0.002 in-flight shutdown rate per 1,000 flight hours. This rate translates to one event every 500,000 flight hours.

Press release issued by CFM International Inc. on July 16, 2008


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