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Audio and Video: The moaning of GE90-115B – the largest commercial jet engine

Ask any plane spotter about the General Electric GE90-155B engines and you will get a universal thumbs-up. The largest engines fitted on any commercial jet, two GE90’s power every Boeing 777 made today; the -300ER, the -200LR, or the freighter.

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER A6-EBL at Bengaluru International Airport Bangalore India. Huge GE90-115B engines.
Put the engine size in perspective. Compare the ground engineer near the nose wheel.

To give you an idea of size, the diameter of the engine (11 ft 3 in or 3.429 m) is just a little less than the fuselage diameter of the Boeing 737, and at take-off thrust the engine swallows more than two million cubic feet of air per minute. More technical details can be read here.

Apart from its size, what spotters love about the engine is the unique “moaning” sound it makes the engine turbine fired at start-up.

All commercial jet engines today, are started using compressed air. The compressed air is produced by the auxillary power unit (APU) located in the tail of the aircraft and fed via ducts to the engines. This are blows the engine blades around through a series of gearbox, shafts, and starter. When the engine blades are sped up to a certain point, fuel is injected into the engine and ignited. At this moment the GE90 produces its signature moan and the engine starts.

This is what the engine start-up sounds like from outside

This is from inside the cabin

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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