Boeing is set to debut its biggest plane ever next month, and the 777X has finally been paired with the gargantuan GE9X engine that will propel its flight.
The plane is currently housed in Boeing’s Everett, Washington, assembly plant, where pictures show it looming over workers as they prepare it for its maiden flight.
The GE9X engine is the biggest turbine engine in the world. At roughly the size of an entire Boeing 737’s fuselage, it was subjected to test flights last March when a single turbine was hitched to a 747 testbed.
The engine includes a composite fan more than 11 feet in diameter, tucked into a 14-and-a-half-foot engine capsule, or nacelle. It has 16 composite fan blades and hangs on the 777X’s 118-foot wings, which make the new planes the largest two-engine jets in the world.
Though bigger engines can potentially mean higher fuel consumption and costs, Boeing’s biggest aircraft is designed to mitigate those concerns: The larger wings will generate more lift, decreasing fuel consumption by 20 percent, the company has said.
Though the GE9X is the largest engine in the world, it isn’t quite the most powerful. Another General Electric machine, the GE90 can claim that title, as it previously hit 127,900 pounds of thrust in 2002. The GE9X, by comparison, generates 105,000 pounds of thrust.
The nearly finished plane is the culmination of over a year of extensive testing, with GE9X’s deployed in Winnipeg, Canada, and Peebles, Ohio. Over 700 of the massive engines have been placed on order since last year, as the jet nears its arrival at an airport near you.