Boeing and CFM target two percent fuel efficiency gains with upgraded Next-Generation 737 in 2011
Mock-up of the CFM56-7B Evolution engine
Fri 1 May 2009 – CFM International, the GE-Snecma engine joint venture, has launched a new engine enhancement programme scheduled to enter airline service in mid-2011 to coincide with cabin and structural changes to the 737NG announced simultaneously by Boeing. Structural improvements will reduce drag on the airplane, reducing fuel use, and therefore CO2 emissions, by about one percent. Boeing’s engine partner is contributing a further one percent fuel saving through hardware changes to its engine.
CFM is using advanced computer codes and three-dimensional design techniques to improve airfoils in the high- and low-pressure turbines to improve performance of the engine, dubbed the CFM56-7B Evolution.
The first engine is scheduled to begin ground testing in September with flight tests starting in early 2010 on a 737-800 loaned by Continental Airlines, and engine certification is expected in the third quarter. Flight tests of the engine on the upgraded 737NG are planned for later on 2010, followed by aircraft certification and entry into service in mid-2011.
Drawing from years of research used to design the interior for the 787 Dreamliner, the 737 Boeing Sky Interior features new, 787-style modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals “that draw passengers’ eyes to the airplane’s windows, giving passengers a greater connection to the flying experience,” says Boeing. The new design will include a number of cabin enhancements, including blue-sky-like overhead lighting, and new integrated air vents and improved noise-dampening materials to reduce overall cabin noise.
The first airlines expected to benefit from the upgrade include FlyDubai, Continental, Norwegian, Malaysia, TUI Travel, Gol and Lion Air.