CFM: The Power of Flight


CFM: The Power of Flight

  • 654 pages
  • 7 x 10 
  • Softcover
  • ISBN 978-1939710-291
  • Copyright 2016

By Guy Norris and Felix Torres

CFM: The Power of Flight tells the engrossing story of how General Electric and Snecma (now Safran Aircraft Engines) came together in the early 1970s to form CFM International, the most successful jet engine company in the history of commercial aviation. 

Propelled by the shared vision of its founding fathers, Gerhard Neumann and Rene Ravaud, CFM was established as a pioneering 50/50 joint venture to develop the world's first small high-bypass engine. Known as CFM56, this revolutionary 10-tonne engine concept brought unprecedented levels of fuel efficiency and reduced noise at a time when airlines and aircraft manufacturers were waking up to a new world of rising fuel prices and environmental pressures. 

But getting CFM off the ground was far from easy. As this book attests, it survived, at times, only by the sheer force of will of its founders and the efforts of hundreds of GE and Snecma people who believed in the program. 

Although the two engine makers overcame enormous political hurdles to secure the birth of the joint venture in 1974, it was not until March 1979 that the first firm order came - just two weeks before the program was due to be shelved. From then on, there was no looking back. 

Several generations of the CFM56 engine have since been produced, with more than 30,000 delivered by 2016. A new twenty-first century successor, the LEAP engine, was launched in 2008 and is now poised to forge its own place in aviation history. 

This book recounts how CFM's success has been built not only on producing the right engine at the right time, but also on the remarkable business foundation of the joint venture, the architecture of which provides a robust example of industrial and transatlantic collaboration that continues to set the gold standard for international cooperative ventures to this day. 


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