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Breaking: Boeing launches 737 Sky Interior & CFM56-7B Evolution engine (Update4)

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RENTON -- Boeing has launched a new interior and upgraded CFM engine for the 737 Next Generation family of narrowbody of aircraft.

CFM will introduce the CFM56-7B Evolution engine in conjunction with a new interior to deliver a 1% improvement in overall aircraft efficiency. Boeing will also make minor tweaks to the aerodynamics of the aircraft to contribute to a 1% improvement as well.

Overall, Boeing hopes to deliver around 2% of overall improvements for 737 Next Generation customers.

Boeing believes that customers will see the benefit of these changes the longer the aircraft remains in cruise.

CFM & Boeing will introduce changes to the engine nozzle and plug, remove 9% of engine airfoils reducing maintenance costs by an expected 4%. CFM will also deliver the improvement by increasing airflow through the engine and reducing overall temperature.

The technology changes represent a $100 million investment for CFM.

CFM will flight test the CFM56-7B Evolution on General Electric's venerable Boeing 747-100 in February of 2010. Boeing will utilize a Continental 737-800 to flight test the changes at the end of 2010 ahead of entry into service.

Launch customers include FlyDubai, Continental Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Tui, Norwegian and GOL.

Entry into service for the engine and aerodynamic enhancements are scheduled for mid-2011. The interior will enter service in 4Q2010.

FlyDubai will be the launch customer for the Boeing 737 Sky Interior which features new LED lighting, larger 777/787 style pivot bins and a host of other changes. The interior improvements mark the most significant change to the 737's cabin since the type was introduced with Southwest Airlines in 1998.

The weight-neutral interior will be a priced option for existing 737 customers and be a mandatory priced "option" for new customers. Boeing declined to discuss the adjustment in price of the new features.

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