In various Youtube videos, e.g. this one, one can see that the Boeing 787 is capable of a parallel engine start (both engines are started at the same time). Are there any other commercial aircraft around that allow for a dual (or multiple parallel) engine startup?

What is the reason the Boeing 787 can perform parallel engine starts? What is the difference with other aircraft that cannot perform a parallel startup?

  • $\begingroup$ starting an engine require bringing some energy to it (usually through bleed air). if the APU or ground pack cannot provide enough energy to safely start both engine at once, it seems wise to start it one by one. Moreover, one running engine may provide energy to start another one. $\endgroup$
    – Manu H
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 13:17

3 Answers 3


The main reason behind this capability is that the Boeing 787 starts its engines entirely on electrical power generated by the APU's VFSG (Variable Frequency Starter Generators) vs relying on APU bleed air to start the engines. Thus there isn't the typical drop in pneumatic pressure caused by the pneumatic starters on regular jetliners. See 787 No-Bleed Systems for reference.

The Airbus A-340 can start both engines on a wing at the same time (1 & 2 then 3 & 4) as described here.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If I know well also the 747 can start two engines at the same time. $\endgroup$
    – Stone
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 13:28

The C-130, or L-382 (commercial variant) can start the 2nd & 3rd engines simultaneously using the combined bleed air of the APU + the first engine. It was a pretty "gee whiz" trick with limited utility in actual operations, though. Only saw it done a few times in about a decade of flying them. Also don't know if the current J models could do that or not, since their engines are different than what the E and H model aircraft had.

  • $\begingroup$ J can start first engine off the APU, then upshift and start subsequent three engines simultaneously. Requires some extra hands. $\endgroup$
    – Arkhem
    Commented Jun 21, 2021 at 7:07
  • $\begingroup$ I remember being shown round some C-130 simulators back in about 1980 and the instructor said that they could start engines in pairs, I think they demonstrated 2 and 3 then 1 and 4. They mentioned that this was possible but not normal practice. I’ve no recollection what the power source was. $\endgroup$
    – Frog
    Commented Jun 21, 2021 at 8:51
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    $\begingroup$ Upshift, @Arkhem, you mean you can get a C-130 with a manual transmission? Cool!!! :D $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 16:01

The Embraer 175 can start both engines off APU bleed but I don’t know of any airline that has that in its SOP.


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