How Powerful Are Modern Airplane Engines?

People tend to take for granted the technological advances inherent in today’s jet airplanes. The Boeing 777, for example, which was first flown commercially by United Airlines in 1995, has unbelievable power. Its gigantic GE-90 engines kick out more than 111,000 horsepower, and during takeoff, the engines take in 2 million cubic feet of air per minute. Compare that horsepower to the RMS Titanic, the state-of-the-art transportation marvel of 1912. The Titanic’s steam engines, powered by 159 coal furnaces, produced only about 46,000 horsepower.

Lucky 7s for the Boeing fleet:

  • The 777 is considered the world's longest-range airliner, able to fly more than halfway around the globe. It holds the record for the longest distance flown non-stop by a commercial aircraft.

  • The engines on the triple 7 are so large that they are almost the same diameter as the fuselage of the Boeing 737. Each engine costs $24 million.

  • The plane is the world's largest twinjet and has a typical seating capacity of 314 to 396 passengers, with a range of 5,240 to 8,555 nautical miles (9,704 to 15,844 km).

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