The first Boeing Next-Generation 737 fitted with certified “Performance Improvement” engines was delivered to China Southern Airlines at Boeing Field in Seattle last week.
The new CFM56-7BE engine configuration, which is now standard on all delivered 737s, is an improved design that includes high- and low-pressure turbine modifications. The first aircraft to be delivered with the new engine configuration was a Boeing 737-800.
Boeing says that, coupled with drag-reduction improvements that Boeing started phasing into 737 production earlier this year, the improved engine will result in lower fuel consumption and maintenance cost savings.
The new engine is part of the 737 performance improvement package (PIP) that Boeing began testing in November 2010, with the goal of reducing fuel consumption by 2 per cent. Incorporation of other fuel-performance improvements will take place into 2012 and Boeing says its data analysis will continue to quantify the final benefit to customers.
“We continue to review performance flight test data and collect delivery data,” says John Hamilton, vice president and chief project engineer – 737 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The improved fuel savings is part of our commitment to deliver market-leading value to Next-Generation 737 customers.”
Boeing’s continuous efforts to improve the Next-Generation 737 family have resulted in an accumulated 5 per cent gain in fuel-efficiency since the first Boeing 737NG (a 737-700) was delivered in 1998.
According to the manufacturer, the new improvements will give operators an aircraft that is up to 7 per cent more efficient than the first Next-Generation 737s delivered.