An aircraft is a work of art as much as it is a work of science. The engine is one of the main components what provides this beautiful creature its most important characteristic: the ability to fly.

Most of the modern airliners use turbofan engines – engines characterised by a ‘turbo’, or turbine and a ‘fan’. More specifically, the turbo portion of the engine refers to a turbine engine which produces mechanical energy from fuel combustion, and the fan, portion uses the mechanical energy from the turbine to accelerate air towards the rear.

Close-up of a turbofan engine
Credits: Captainm, Wikimedia Commons
This is how a turbofan engine works.
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The major companies producing turbofan engines are General Electric, Pratt and Whitney and Rolls Royce. Most of the major airliners use engines manufactured by these companies. In case of multiple engine options for one aircraft, the airlines are provided an option to choose which company’s engines they would prefer in their fleet.

Model Major applications Start Bypass Length Fan Weight Thrust
GE GE90Boeing 777 1992 8.7–9.9 5.18m–5.40m 3.12–3.25m 7.56–8.62t 330–510 kN
P&W PW4000 Airbus A300/Airbus A310, Airbus A330, Boeing 747, Boeing 767, Boeing 777, MD-11 1984 4.8–6.4 3.37–4.95m 2.84m 4.18–7.48t 222–436 kN
R-R Trent XWB Airbus A350XWB 2010 9.3 5.22 m 3.00m 7.28 t 330–430 kN
R-R Trent 800 Boeing 777 1993 5.7–5.79 4.37m 2.79m 5.96–5.98t 411–425 kN
EA GP7000 Airbus A380 2004 8.7 4.75m 2.95m 6.09–6.71 t 311–363 kN
R-R Trent 900 Airbus A380 2004 8.7 4.55m 2.95m 6.18–6.25 t 340–357 kN
R-R Trent 1000 Boeing 787 2006 10.8-11 4.74m 2.85m 5.77 t 265.3–360.4 kN
GE GEnx Boeing 747-8, Boeing 787 2006 8.0–9.3 4.31-4.69m 2.66-2.82m 5.62-5.82 t 296-339 kN
R-R Trent 700 Airbus A330 1990 4.9 3.91 m 2.47m 4.79 t 320 kN
GE CF6 Airbus A300/ Airbus A310, Airbus A330, Boeing 747, Boeing 767, MD-11, DC-10 1971 4.3–5.3 4.00–4.41 m 2.20–2.79m 3.82–5.08 t 222–298 kN
R-R Trent 500 Airbus A340-500/600 1999 8.5 3.91m 2.47m 4.72 t 252 kN
P&W PW1000G Airbus A320neo, Airbus A220, E-Jets E2 2008 9.0–12.5 3.40m 1.42–2.06m 2.86 t 67–160 kN
CFM LEAP Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737Max 2013 9.0–11.0 3.15–3.33m 1.76–1.98m 2.78–3.15t 100–146 kN
CFM56 Airbus A320, Airbus A340-200/300, Boeing 737, KC-135, DC-8 1974 5.0–6.6 2.36–2.52m 1.52–1.84m 1.95–2.64t 97.9-151 kN
IAE V2500 Airbus A320, MD-90 1987 4.4–4.9 3.20m 1.60m 2.36–2.54t 97.9-147 kN
P&W PW6000 Airbus A318 2000 4.90 2.73m 1.44m 2.36t 100.2 kN
R-R BR700 Boeing 717, Global Express, Gulfstream V 1994 4.2–4.5 3.41–3.60m 1.32–1.58m 1.63–2.11t 68.9–102.3 kN
GE Passport Global 7000/8000 2013 5.6 3.37m 1.30m 2.07t 78.9–84.2 kN
GE CF34 Challenger 600, CRJ, E-jets 1982 5.3–6.3 2.62–3.26m 1.25–1.32m 0.74–1.12t 41–82.3 kN
P&WC PW800 Gulfstream G500/G600 2012 5.5 1.30m 67.4–69.7 kN
R-R Tay Gulfstream IV, Fokker 70/100 1984 3.1–3.2 2.41m 1.12–1.14m 1.42–1.53t 61.6–68.5 kN
Silvercrest Cit. Hemisphere, Falcon 5X 2012 5.9 1.90m 1.08m 1.09t 50.9 kN
R-R AE 3007 ERJ, Citation X 1991 5.0 2.71m 1.11m 0.72t 33.7 kN
P&WC PW300 Cit. Sovereign, G200, F. 7X, F. 2000 1988 3.8–4.5 1.92–2.07 0.97m 0.45–0.47t 23.4–35.6 kN
HW HTF7000 Challenger 300, G280, Legacy 500 1999 4.4 2.29m 0.87m 0.62t 28.9 kN
HW TFE731 Learjet 70/75, G150, Falcon 900 1970 2.66–3.9 1.52–2.08m 0.72-0.78m 0.34–0.45t 15.6–22.2 kN
Williams FJ44 CitationJet, Cit. M2 1985 3.3–4.1 1.36–2.09m 0.53-0.57m 0.21–0.24t 6.7–15.6 kN
P&WC PW500 Citation Excel, Phenom 300 1993 3.90 1.52m 0.70m 0.28t 13.3 kN
GE-H HF120 HondaJet 2009 4.43 1.12m 0.54m 0.18t 7.4 kN
Williams FJ33 Cirrus SF50 1998 0.98m 0.53m 0.14 t 6.7 kN
P&WC PW600 Cit. Mustang, Eclipse 500, Phenom 100 2001 1.8–2.8 0.67m 0.36m 0.15t 6.0 kN
PS-90 Ilyushin Il-76, Ilyushin Il-96, Tupolev Tu-204 1992 4.4 4.96m 1.9m 2.95t 157–171 kN
PowerJet SaM146 Sukhoi Superjet 100 20084-4.1 3.59m 1.22m 2.260t 71.6–79.2 kN

The below table provides a detailed account of all the turbofan engines used in the modern commercial aircraft:

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Cover credits: Julian Herzog, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26873357

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