QANTAS: Getting Engines Running

Even though it will be a while before Qantas’ long haul fleet returns to the skies commercially, the airline’s aircraft aren’t completely idle during this hibernation.

Qantas and Jetstar have 220 aircraft grounded at various airports around Australia and overseas due to the drastic reduction in domestic and international flying due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Still, even when grounded, there’s plenty of work being done to keep their aircraft ready for when flying resumes.

“Images of commercial aircraft parked at airports and storage areas around the world really are astonishing.”

Peter Hosper, CEO of The Travel Authority Group.

“It’s fascinating to see what’s going on behind the scenes to maintain these huge aircraft while they’re grounded,” adds Hosper.

As we’ve reported before, the aircraft might be grounded but they’re being well attended to by engineering, maintenance and cleaning staff. And the engines need particular attention to keep them ready-to-fly.

Qantas’ Head of Line Maintenance John Walker says every aircraft needs to have an “engine wakeup” and for our Boeing 747s it’s required every seven days. And here’s what that process looks like.

Each of the 747 jumbo engines consumes up to 600 kilos of fuel per hour at idle and at full take off power (not used during the engine run) generates up to 60,000 pounds of thrust.

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