How large can “big fan” engines get? For almost 50 years since the genesis of the high-bypass-ratio turbofan, fan size has increased proportionately to thrust. But is that about to change? The question of size, in this case, refers more to physical dimensions than absolute power, and it is beginning to emerge as aircraft and engine makers study more efficient airframe and propulsion combinations. Simply put, turbofan engines are on the verge of growing bigger, while thrust levels are ...


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