Airports and airstrips are pretty controlled environments - designed that way to avoid and eliminate as many safety concerns as possible. But all the controls in the world can't necessarily convince a flock of Canadian geese to avoid the flightpath of a commercial jet. And as we saw on Thursday, the combination isn't pretty - for the plane, or the geese.
There isn't much that can be done to make the collision between a jet and a goose any better for the goose. But in the case of an aircraft engine, in this particular case size does matter. Sometimes the solution to a problem is just to make something really, really, BIG. (Insert "Tim-The-Toolman-Taylor" grunt of approval here.)
The GE90-115B currently holds the world record for the Largest Jet Engine. It was awarded that designation in 2001 after it recorded an amazing 123,000 lbs. of steady-state thrust while undergoing initial ground testing. In late 2002, the engine shattered its original record by reaching 127,900 lbs. of thrust during required certification testing. The engine currently powers the Boeing 777 family of aircraft.
The engine certainly wasn't designed solely to avoid bird ingestion failures, but that is one of the many issues its size and power overcomes. The attached video has been around for a few years, but in case you haven't seen it - it's pretty phenomenal. Everything about this engine - from the massive intake diameter, to the aerodynamic design of the curved fan blades - screams power. Check out the end of the video when the blast of air coming out of the back of the engine blows away large 400 pound rocks like they were pieces of paper.
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