World's Biggest Jet Engine: First Testing

"General Electric Aviation has put together an engine it boasts is so gigantic that Shaquille O'Neil could comfortably fit inside of it with Kobe Bryant on his shoulders", says Dailymail. And we couldn't agree more! GE is gearing up for test runs of the first GE9X turbofan as components of the initial engine come together at its Evendale, Ohio, facility.

World's Biggest Jet Engine Tested For First Time

The world's biggest jet engine is in development for Boeing 777X series and in terms of physical dimensions is largest turbofan ever produced. Overall fan diameter measures 134 in. compared to 128 in. for the GE90-115B, currently world’s biggest and most powerful engine. The GE9X is equipped with only 16 fan blades, with each individual blade measuring more than 5ft. in length. This record breaking engine is the first working prototype that was developed to power Boeing 777X jet.

The GE9X is made with parts from lightweight and ultra heat-resistant materials known as ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) that can operate at temperatures up to 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit. The advancement in 3D printing has also contributed to this cutting-edge engine, by allowing engineers to create more complex shapes, which were once impossible - including 3D printed fuel nozzles.

World's Biggest Jet Engine Tested For First Time World's Biggest Jet Engine Tested For First Time World's Biggest Jet Engine Tested For First Time

Testing of the biggest jet engine is seen as a critical step towards development of the Boeing 777X aircraft family, a new version of the 777 'mini-jumbo' with up to 406 seats. Components for the second GE9X engine are also under assembly for tests scheduled to begin in 2017 along with flight testing on GE Aviation’s Boeing 747-400 flying testbed. Engine certification is anticipated in 2018, around the same time as first flight of the 777X.

The largest twin-engine jetliner in the world is scheduled to enter service in 2020. The 777-9X (the first aircraft of the 777X family) will have hinges on its wingtips. The hinges will fold up, allowing the plane to shorten its wingspan when it's rolling across airport taxiways. Also, the plane will have the widest wingspan of any aircraft in the company's 99-year history: 235 feet, 5 inches (71.8 meters). These giant wings will give the airliner extra lift, like a giant sailplane glider. They'll help the plane save an overall 12% more fuel than the Airbus A350, Boeing says.

World's Biggest Jet Engine Tested For First Time

Boeing asked GE to develop an engine strong enough to power its 777X jet, which has prompted other airlines, including Emirates, Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) and Qatar Airways, to place an order. In total, the firm has received more than 700 requests for the engines, valuing at $29 million.

World's Biggest Jet Engine Tested For First Time