How an Airplane Engine Works? – From Intake to Exhaust

How an Airplane Engine Works? – From Intake to Exhaust:

how airplane engine works

Jet engines propel the plane forward with a powerful thrust that causes the aircraft to fly very quickly.

Jet engines, often known as gas turbines, all operate on the same concept. A fan pulls air in from the front of the engine then the air pressure is increased by using a compressor. Many blades are linked to a shaft to make the compressor. The blades compress or squeeze the air as they rotate at high speeds. After that, gasoline is sprayed into the compressed air, and an electric spark ignites the combination. The burning gases expand and burst out the back of the engine through the nozzle.

Let’s see how an airplane engine works in details.

What is an airplane engine?

An airplane engine uses the same principle as the gas turbine engine except that it uses gas to pump gas to the turbine.

Between take-off and landing, the pilot is not controlling the aircraft anymore, but the plane uses its own means to operate. When the airplane takes off, the pilot use the throttle, increases the RPMs, and opens the air intake. Then the plane is taking off. During this time, the air intake is closed, and the pilot keeps the air intake open.

Which fuel is used to fuel the plane?

In most of the world, the fuel used for powering an airplane is kerosene. When the aircraft go fast, the air intake is restricted to prevent the plane’s fire from entering.

The engine is most often located in the back of a plane, where it is easily visible from the back. It’s usually behind the propeller or pusher propeller, which turns the plane forward.

The fan pulls air in at the front of the engine. As it begins to expand, a compressor lifts the air to a higher pressure.

After the air has been compressed, the air blows into the combustion chamber. As the gas expands, it explodes out of the rear of the engine through the nozzle.

How does a turbocharger work?

how does turbo charge works

A turbocharger or a turbo-compressor is very similar to the compressor found in an airplane engine. It produces more force by using the expansion and compression of air instead of the compressor itself. In simple terms, the engine is said to be turbocharged.

The parts of the engine:

There are a lot of parts of an airplane engine, and it’s tough to talk about its structure and function simply. They are often called components because they work together and make up the whole engine. It is common to divide them into different types, depending on what they are made for. Let’s start with the most essential part: the fan.


There are two types of fans: thrust and waste. Thrust fans pull air in, and waste fans push air out. Most engine fans are thrust fans because they are fast and have large pressure waves. The fan uses very low pressure to operate the engines.

The rotor is ideal in an engine because it has the least amount of friction compared with any other rotor in the engine. Also, its area is very small compared to any other rotor.

The meaning of thrust in an airplane engine:

Thrust in airplane engine

The thrust that an airplane engine produces is called air thrust. This is what propels an airplane forward with powerful airflow.

There are four basic kinds of jet engines – turbofans, turboprops, turbo shaft and turbojets.

Turbojets are the most common type. These are turbine engines that operate on a large fan that pulls air from the front and shoots it out of the back of the engine through a nozzle (called an axial compressor).

Each of these axial compressors is a chain of blades that compress or squeeze air into a gas. The chain moves at very high speeds. When it stops, the blades stop moving, and the gas keeps pushing the gas down. A turbine is an engine that operates on this principle.


The two major types of aircraft engine are:

Jet Engine: You see this engine very often in private jets. It operates on the same principle as the above type of plane.

Turbofan engine: This type of engine uses an air compressor to compress air before it is sprayed with fuel.

The most powerful jet engine, the Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet engine, has four jet engines at its front. The speed of the jet engines can reach up to 903 km/h. The Turbofan Jet engine is the second-fastest jet engine, capable of 807 km/h. The natural-oil burning compression type is most common in jet engines.

Tanker jet engine:

Tanker jet engines, also known as propjets, are used in maritime aircraft. They are similar to regular jet engines except that they are smaller. They have a diameter of 3.3 meters and produce only about 1 ton of thrust.

Angle-lift jet engine:

This is a turbojet engine. The compressor inside the cylinder of the engine forces air into the cylinder at high pressure. The cylinder is sealed and maintained under high pressure. It is small and lightweight.

The Future of Airplane Engine:

future of airplane engine

So you probably think that you already know how the engine works. However, there is still some secret sauce to understanding how the airplane engine works. You can watch this video for details about the engine of a plane.

The Boeing 777-300ER, a new version of Boeing’s best-selling widebody jet, made its first flight in 2006. It can seat up to 400 passengers. This version of the Boeing 777 has the highest specific fuel consumption of any passenger jet, at 19.081 gallons of fuel per 100 miles.

Another Boeing widebody, the Boeing 777-200ER, is more powerful. It is capable of flying up to 370 passengers. It can fly up to 310 miles.

But which one is the best? My choice is definitely Boeing’s new 777X is the next generation of the classic 777.


I hope you’ve found this helpful article. If you’ve read it till the end, you have now extensive knowledge about the airplane engine and how it works precisely. Thank you for reading this article, and feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments below. πŸ™‚

6 thoughts on “How an Airplane Engine Works? – From Intake to Exhaust

  1. Thank You for Sharing 

    I have learned a lot about flight simulators and accessories by reading your blog post.

    I was very impressed with the section on the parts of the engine.

    I travel a lot on planes and will look at planes in a different light from now on.

    I was amazed to find out that there are different types of  jet engines – turbofans, turboprops, turboshafts and turbojets.

    I found out a lot about jet engines by watching your video also. Your article has a lot of useful information for anyone interested in planes and engines.


    1. Thank you for visiting my website and the great comment. Aircraft have different engine models depending on the aircraft and where it is manufactured.

  2. This is really interesting. I never knew how a plane engine works until today. Quick question, how long does it last before it has to go for maintenance. I absolutely love your niche. I am literally learning about a plane the more I read the articles on your website. Thank you for this, I truly appreciate it. 

  3. To begin with the site looks good.  I have a couple of comments on the content on jet engines.

    They don’t burn gas, petrol or diesel.  They usually run on Jet A, Jet A-1, JP-5 and JP-8.  These are longer carbon chains than gas and are closer to kerosene.  They are more stable and have a higher freezing pt. than gas, and the additive packages are completely different. Military usually uses Jet b for their wide range of operatable conditions.

    Thrust is measured and defined as Kn or N (defined as force needed to accelerate 1 kilogram of mass at the rate of 1 meter per second per second.)  It doesn’t matter where its applied. 

    This did not make sense to me–Each of these axial compressors is a chain of blades that compress or squeeze air into a gas. The chain moves at very high speeds. When it stops, the blades stop moving, and the gas keeps pushing the gas down.  Air is a gas, all the compressor does is make it denser.

    The 747 only has 4 engines not 12.  The only aircraft I know with more is the anetanov at 8.  The old b52 stratafortress had 8.

    The range on the 777 is around 7800nmi (14800 KM), not 310 mi.

    Jet engines go alot faster than 903 km/hr.  The old SR-71 could go in excess of 2200 mph, and that doesn’t even touch what a RAM jet of SCRAM jet can do (theoretically Mach 24)

    Sorry–an enginneer here that sometimes get a little too technical.  Hope this helps a little.



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