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Watch the world's biggest jet engine fire up: Prototype that will power Boeing's 406 seat 777 'megaplane' tested for first time

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Watch the world's biggest jet engine fire up: Prototype that will power Boeing's 406 seat 777 'megaplane' tested for first time
Boeing asked GE to develop an engine to power its 777X jet and several other airlines have also placed orders
The ceramic matrix composites can operate at temperatures up to 2400 degrees Fahrenheit
  16 fourth-generation carbon-fiber fan blades are at the front that feed air to the 11-stage high-pressure compressor
Testing began last month and will continue to verify aerodynamic, thermal and mechanical characteristics

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.

Dubbed the largest jet engine in the world, GE9X's front fans span 11 feet in diameter, while its inlet duct measures 18 feet by 12 feet and it can generate 100000 pounds of thrust.

This record breaking engine is the first working prototype that was developed to power Boeing's 777X jet and is currently being tested at the GE's boot camp for engines near Peebles, Ohio.  

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Testing of the engine is seen as a critical step towards development of the 777X aircraft family, a new version of the 777 'mini-jumbo' with up to 406 seats that is due to enter service in 2020.

Boeing asked GE to develop an engine strong enough to power its 777X jet, which has prompted other airlines, including Emirates, Lufthansa and Qatar Airways, to place an order.

In total, the firm has received more than 700 requests for the engines, valuing at $ 29 million.

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 2400 degrees Fahrenheit.  

This allows the firm's engineers to keep the heat higher inside the engine, without having to burn through fuel or emissions.

'The hotter the engine gets, the more efficient it is,' said GE Aviation spokesman Rick Kennedy in a recent statement.

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.

'These tunnels and caves are a closely guarded secret,' said Kennedy.

'They determine how the fuel moves through the nozzle and sprays inside the combustion chamber.'

Currently the largest turbofan jet engine being produced by Rolls Royce, GE's main competitor. The Trent XWB-97 is a three-shaft turbofan jet engine with a fan diameter of ten feet and can produce up to 97000lb of thrust.

GE Started Testing The World's Largest Jet Engine - GE Reports
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19 April 2016, 16:03