An inside look at a commercial jet engine

CNET takes an inside look at the United Airlines engine shop and catches the Blue Angels close up at the United maintenance base at San Francisco International Airport.

This Pratt & Whitney PW4090 powers United's Boeing 777 aircraft. Kent German/CNET

Just as your engine is the most complicated and important part of your car, a jet engine is the centerpiece of a commercial airliner. Sure, the wing is important too, but the engines not only get from point A to point B, but also give the wing the airflow that it needs to do its job.

Recently I had the opportunity to walk through United's engine repair shop at the airline's maintenance base at San Francisco International Airport. If you've ever wanted to see the insides of a modern commercial jet engine, this was the place to be. On display were engines for the Boeing 747 and 777 and a gallery of engine parts all labeled with a price tag. It was pretty astounding to learn just how much it all costs.

For a look inside the engine shop, check out the slideshow . And be sure to click through to the end to see close-up views of the Blue Angels aircraft--they were in town for San Francisco's Fleet Week--and a few United aircraft.

About the author

Senior Managing Editor Kent German leads the CNET Reviews editors in San Francisco. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he still writes about the wireless industry and occasionally his passion for commercial aviation.

 

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