Jet engine question

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by geoffb78, Sep 15, 2005.

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  1. geoffb78

    geoffb78 Intern

    Jan 15, 2005
    Hi all

    I am a fairly regular flyer and got a bit of a fright last night when taking off from Singapore on Lufthansa LH777 to Frankfurt.

    I was sitting behind the wing with a very good view of the left hand engine on the left side of the plane (a 747-400). On takeoff, and until about 10,000 feet, I noticed that the rear-most portion of the engine was literally glowing red. I had never noticed such a thing before and actually became quite stressed. As it turns out, there were no immediate consequences and the flight continued as normal.

    However, I do wonder whether this is normal or not. I realise someone would probably not notice any 'glow' during a daylight take off and wonder whether anyone else has noticed this phenomenon before?

    Thanks for helping restore my confidence (or reducing my paranoia)!!!


  2. shillard

    shillard Guest

    The pilot was ex-Luftwaffe, and he heard an English voice on the radio calling "dakka dakka dakka dakka dakka!", so he kicked in the afterburners (custom fitted to his 744), and bugged out for home.
  3. straitman


    Apr 27, 2003
    SE Oz (Sale)
    Flight Map:
    View my flight map

    The short version of a long answer is that turbine engines operate at 600 - 800 deg C exhaust temperatures so its not surprising that you'll see a glow when conditions a right. What it was and why on this occasion I can only speculate.

    If you think back to movies such as Top Gun or go to an airshow you will remember the fighter aircraft often have a flame out the back. This (afterburner) is just raw fuel being pumped into the hot jet exhaust. You are probably aware that airliners don't have afterburners and I am only using this to illustrate how hot the exhausts really are.

    Hope this helps. :D :D :D
  4. Alan in CBR

    Alan in CBR Member

    Apr 2, 2004
    Canberra ACT
    You forgot the rest of that sentence "... now that Concorde no longer flies."

    BAe146s are great for seeing glowing engines at night, because their engines are basically at eye level.

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