Thursday, May 14, 2015

CFM's 800 Pound Gorilla Waits... Part Deux "Mumbo-Jumbo"

Counter points are for imaginary staff meetings. After taking-off with the CFM 1-B, Boeing flew its engine with startling metrics results. The bench test short fall only told CFM what it needed to know about its progeny in the first place. Tweaking the CFM 1-B destined for the 737 Max made gains towards eliminating the 5% short fall with big results.

First test of Boeing 737 Max engine looks good; future success critical

The first test looks good, that's it? However, below is the quip from Boeing testing, which suggest an improvement without disclosing what the metric has achieved towards eroding the 5% shortfall. Indicating maybe they aren't there yet, but techno adjustments has made the engine  closer to the advertised efficiency.

Puget Sound Business Journal quote:

"The smaller Boeing LEAP-IB engine, manufactured by CFM International, is lighter than the version of the engine the Airbus A320neo will use, but having less ground clearance that the A320neo has forced Boeing to use smaller-diameter versions of the fans that push air through the engine for thrust
But Boeing engineers have insisted that 737 Max’s LEAP-IB, engineered with a slightly flattened cowling to fit under the 737 wing, will offer competitive performance.

“While we applaud Pratt & Whitney for their efforts, we are not seeing that the availability of (the geared turbofan) as a key discriminator,” said Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and program manager for the 737 Max, in a 2013 press briefing. “I think the LEAP engine, with the technologies they’re adding in, provides us with right technology and is truly matched to the airplane.” 

There it is, from the Mumbo-Jumbo (747 test bed) is on the Boeing table. They see what they need to do to make the CFM 1-B compliant to the goals for the aircraft. Is it bravery talking, or is it a feign just for Airbus Bravado? It's hard to tell in this case, especially when trying to sell more MAX to its prospective customers. It has become an insiders game for the clientele. No one yet, knows for sure what's up with that statement above, other than what it says. Be brave we have the battle won over the NEO.

However, I am trying to be Brave with all this Mumbo-Jumbo talk and I am in want to believe the initial outcome is really good. Once again I am guessing at a 3 1/2 % flying test bed improvement over the bench tests report already, and a future PIP is coming gaining the other 1 & 1/2% needed by CFM testing, component parts, and engine tweak department.