I love to find out the engine manufacturer and make, used in all of the aircraft I fly. Can anyone provide hints on how to identify an engine uniquely?

  1. The CFM56 on a Boeing 737NG is easy. It has a flat bottom.
  2. The GENx was at first easy to identify due to sawtooth pattern chevrons near the exhaust. But now the Trent 1000 too uses it.

Any easier ways to identify most popular engines? Pratt and Whitney? Rolls Royce?


closed as too broad by fooot, xxavier, David Richerby, bogl, ymb1 Mar 18 at 21:55

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  • $\begingroup$ Answer is "There is NO HINTS on how to identify an engine uniquely". Why ? Just take the Boeing 777-200(ER) : Pratt & Withney, Rolls Royce and General Electric. I can spot the differences, but I have no words to explain you how I know, it's "something in the eye", GE is rounder, RR is more like an ellipse, and PW is somewhere inbetween. You have to do researches and memorize, just like how you make the difference between a 747-400D and a 747-300 with CF6-80 : learn the airlines operating them (that's cheating, but that's the way) How to have the eye ? spend hours on Airliners.net (or alike) $\endgroup$ – Karl Stephen Mar 19 at 5:00

Some specific aircraft-engine combinations can be identified, but the engines themselves, no, because you don't see most of them—the nacelle is designed for each aircraft-engine combination. For example

  1. The CFM56 on a Boeing 737NG is easy. It has a flat bottom.

the CFM56 on a Boeing 737NG is easy mainly because it is the only engine type that aircraft uses. And the engines from the same series when used on A320-family don't have flat bottom!

For A320-family, the CFM56 engines use separate exhausts, with shorter nacelle and hot section jet extending behind it, while the IAE V2500 ones use mixed exhaust with long nacelle, so you can tell them apart on those aircraft. But on NEO both engine types used have separate streams, and the only visible difference is the slight one in shape of the blades.

It is actually quite common for aircraft to only use one engine type, and using more than two types is rare, so most of the time if you can tell the aircraft, including variant, you should already know.

  • $\begingroup$ While in many cases it does come down to 1 or 2 engine types, I'm not sure I would call it "extremely rare" to have more. The following all have 3 types: 747 (except -8), 767-200/300, 777-200/200ER/300, A330 $\endgroup$ – fooot Mar 18 at 20:23
  • $\begingroup$ @fooot, ok, not extremely. $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Mar 18 at 20:33

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