What Happened to the Engine on Southwest Airlines Flight 1380?

After an initial review of the left engine of the Southwest Airlines aircraft that made an emergency landing yesterday in Philadelphia, the NTSB discovered that one of the 24 fan blades on the engine broke off in flight and caused the catastrophic uncontained failure. Looking at the picture below, one can see that a fan blade is in fact missing and that it broke off near the root, or attachment point.  The missing blade is right in front of the elbow of the gentleman pictured. The engine involved was a model CFM 56-7B, which is the exclusive engine used on 737 aircraft. CFM International was the manufacturer and is a 50/50 joint company between General Electric USA and Safran Aircraft Engines of France. According to FAA records, the engine and aircraft both appear to have been manufactured in 2000. The CFM 56 series engines are turbo fan engines. Turbo fan engines generate thrust partly like a propeller driven engine and partly like a true jet engine. The fan in front,…

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