Engines can be regarded as the most striking and impressive part of an aircraft. The biggest aircraft engine in KLM’s fleet is the General Electric GE90-115B. The engine measures at 3.43 meters in diameters. The engine is the power house for the airlines Boeing 777-300ERs, which is also KLM’s biggest twin-enringed aircraft. The engines can create 115,000 pounds of thrust which according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is the world’s “most powerful commercial jet engine.”
KLM’s B777-300ERs go through almost 16 hours of flight time daily. Keeping track of flight time is important because regular maintenance must be done on the engines. Deployment for operation is based on flight hours and cycles. One flight cycle is composed of a single take off and landing. The average flight cycle for a KLM B777 is 1.9 flight cycles a day. Maintenance on an engine depends on the type of engine. The GE90-115B receives check-ups multiple times throughout the year. A major overhaul is administered after 750 days of operation.
KLM owns their own Engine Shop for engine maintenance. A reserve engine is available for every engine type in operation. This allows for engines to be replaced within 24 hours. When engines are overhauled, they are completely disassembled. Jet engines on average are made up of almost 40,000 parts. This means the overhaul process can take almost 60 days. After a full overhaul is completed, the engine is almost new and is prepared to fly thousands of kilometers in the air.
Aircraft engines are very expensive. Because an airline almost always purchases their engines already attached to the aircraft, it is difficult to pin point how expensive they truly are. Prices of course vary based on engine type, but an engine can be estimated to cost around 12 to 35 million dollars.
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