Southwest Airlines recently donated a CFM56, which is regarded as one of the most popular high-bypass turbofan aircraft engines ever produced, to Hallmark University’s Aeronautics Program. The CFM56 engine currently represents the largest population of turbine engines operated in the world, and still powers the Boeing 737, the most popular jetliner in the world. The donation will be used to develop new curriculum and to provide hands on training for students, which will further expose them to the technical side of this engine type.
Southwest Airlines is currently in the process of transitioning its fleet from the 737 to the new 737 Max Aircraft, with part of the process being the retirement of both airframes and engines. Southwest Airlines has mentioned the option of either selling the engines or scrapping them for precious metal recovery, but prefers to donate them back to the larger community for the development of future aviation technicians.
When asked why Southwest Airlines chose Hallmark University for this donation, Scott Butler, Sr. Power Plant Planner for Southwest Airlines, said “Like Hallmark University, Southwest places a high value on the development of technical talent and the support of technical sciences… it’s important that we engage in aeronautical programs so we can do our part to support the work of developing new talent. This asset allows Hallmark to expose students to contemporary maintenance that continues in service today.”
Instructors at Hallmark University have already begun designing new curriculum designed around the CFM56, with students soon to receive hands on training with this type of engine for the first time. Students at Hallmark University already demonstrate their expertise with an array of aircraft engine mechanics, and will soon graduate among the next generation of talented aircraft mechanics.