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One of the optional services in Rolls-Royce TotalCare is "Engine Transportation"

This service includes routine transportation of engines between the customer’s main base (or designated station) and the engine shop, and/or remote site transportation.

Jet engines can be very large heavy and expensive items. How are they transported? Are they flown or do they use road transport? Are there dedicated vehicles?

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4 Answers 4

They have the usual transport options: shove into cargo area, on a flatbed truck, shipping container,...

They can also be attached below the wing of a large aircraft and flown with if there is no room in the cargo area.

enter image description here(stolen from this question)

Notice the extra engine on the near wing.

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To add to this answer, jet engines are not all that heavy relative to other bulk items but large and cumbersome. It is a pretty common even to see engines in harnesses, covered in tarps being transported by flatbeds. –  h54 Aug 26 at 13:43

The Conroy CL-44 "Skymonster" was built for the purpose of transporting three Rolls-Royce RB-211 engines. It was a derivative of the Canadair CL-44 and was meant to transport the engines for the Lockheed Tristar. Jack Conroy had before modified old C-97s to Super Guppy transporters, and those initially transported Saturn rocket stages for NASA.

The picture below was shamelessly copied from the Wikipedia article. Note the bulges near the tail: They cover the hinges for the sideways opening fuselage. enter image description here

Today, Boeing 747 freighters can swallow most engines, so in the age of widebody transporters there is no more need for special aircraft for engine transport.

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It's apparently pretty hard to get outer engine dimensions, but based on fan size and adding a bit, all but the largest engines will go on a standard truck. Oversize permits are readily available.

Rolls-Royce makes engines in Derby (amongst other places) but not at the airport. ( East Midlands airport has one runway, 8200 feet, which is a bit tight for a 747.) Therefore, engines must leave the factory by truck at least once.

I expect that the decision to send the dud engine for service by truck, boat, on the wing or in the hold will be purely economics.

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Given engines are bulky but light, I'd guess any widebody shipping an engine would be well under MTOW, and hence have no issue at East Midlands. I've not checked the weight beyond "not heavy" though. –  gsnedders Aug 27 at 0:52

Jet engine transportation is a highly specialized task, the primary method is ground transportation via truck and trailer.

It is important that the transport company uses fully air-ride trailers and advanced load securement techniques to ensure zero stress on sensitive engine components.

Peter Kämpf - While you are correct that some engines can fit inside of an aircraft for transport, the cost for this service is enormous when you compare it to a truck and trailer. Also larger engines such as the Trent 1000 (Fits on a 787 Dreamliner) will not fit inside of an air cargo carrier.

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If you consider the capital cost for an engine, financing ownership for the duration of truck transport will exceed air transport cost on longer distances. And trucks can't cross oceans, but need to be loaded on a ship. Engines don't go in standard containers, but on palettes. Then they will fit comfortably inside a 747 Freighter. –  Peter Kämpf Oct 8 at 16:47

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