How Much Do You Know About Airplane Engines?


By: Heather Cahill

6 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

They're the power that allowed us to soar above the world we know and see things from a different perspective. Without airplane engines, we wouldn't have a lot of things. No quick way to travel, no skydiving and no way to enjoy our world from above. Can you name the people who made it all possible?

Can you name the engines that made history or powered some of the most famous planes in the world? What about the parts of an engine and how they work? Maybe you can even list off a few types of airplane engines? This quiz will test you on all different aspects of airplane engines, both general and technical!

Do you know which companies are trusted to make airplane engines? How about the engines in which they specialize? Can you tell a jet engine from a V-type piston engine? Did you know there was a time when engine manufacturers did not want to try their hand at anything specialized to run an airplane!

Airplane engines fuel our world, from delivering packages overnight, to getting you to your destination as quickly as possible. Without them, the world would be a totally different place. So, if you think you're an airplane engine expert, let's see if you can ace this quiz with flying colors!

Is it true or false that the compressor is used for keeping the air and fuel in check on an airplane engine?

This is false. The mixture control is used to regulate this. Depending on the position of the airplane, the mixture control is used to make sure the engine is working well.


Do you know how the life of an airplane engine is measured?

The life of an airplane engine is measured in cycles. A cycle is determined by the number of times a plane has taken off or landed. For example, when the plane takes off in one city and lands in another, that would amount to one cycle.


How many cycles does it take before an engine has to have a major maintenance?

Required maintenance differs for every engine. Some engines may require maintenance every 100 cycles, and some may require it every 1,000 cycles. However, after every flight, a regular inspection is conducted.


Do you know how many engines are on the Airbus A380?

There are four engines on an Airbus A380. The Airbus is a double-decker plane, so it needs a lot of power and thrust to get it going.


Is it true or false that the propeller and throttle have to be set to full in order to take off?

This is true. The propeller and throttle controls help to get the plane off the ground and into the air. When set to full, the plane will reach the intended altitude and then the controls can be readjusted.


What affects the power of the airplane's engine?

Throttle affects the power of the airplane's engine which gives it the thrust it needs to take off. It's adjusted by the pilot, who can give it more or less thrust to make the flight go smoothly.


What part of a jet engine is used to keep the engine cool?

The fan is used to keep the jet engine cool. This is important because once the air is taken in by the fan, it's then regulated to go to one of two places where it works to move the plane forward.


How many engines did the famous Memphis Belle have?

The Memphis Belle had four Pratt & Whitney R-1690 Radial engines. The engines gave this plane the power to get its job done and return home in good condition.


Who built the engine that was used during the Wright Brother's first flight?

The Wright Brothers built their own airplane engine for their famous first flight. But this wasn't their first choice. They had originally asked engine manufacturers to produce it, but none would agree to do so.


Which of the following is not a V-type piston engine?

The 1975 General Electric TF34 Turbo Fan is not a V-type piston engine, but is instead a gas turbine engine. A V-type engine is recognizable by the "V" shape that the two cylinders make.


Which airplane engine is best for planes that often take off from short runways?

Turboprop engines are best used when a plane has to take off on a short runway. These types of engines are commonly found in planes that are used in smaller airports.


What are engines meant to produce?

Airplane engines are meant to produce thrust. This is needed to get the airplane from the ground and into the air, as it can also control how high the aircraft is.


What type of engine was the first airplane engine?

The first airplane engine was a steam engine and it was created by John Stringfellow. He built many fly machines throughout his life using steam engines.


What engine did the Cessna 172 use?

The Cessna 172 used the Lycoming O-360 engine. No other plane has been produced more than the Cessna 172. The Lycoming O-360 has been trusted in this plane for many years.


What engine did the North American X-15, which was the fastest plane in the world, use?

The North American X-15 had a Reaction Motors XLR99 engine. This was a rocket engine with the ability to produce an incredible amount of thrust.


Is it true or false that some airplane engines use diesel?

This is true. Many types of airplanes use diesel engines. These engines are actually much better for the environment and more cost-efficient.


Which engine needs a little help to get off the ground?

Ramjet engines typically need help to get the plane off the ground because they don't have the power to get them up to speed quickly. These type of engines are typically assisted at first by another vehicle.


Which of the following companies does not manufacture airplane engines?

Nissan does not make airplane engines. The other companies listed are major players in the manufacturing of airplane motors, and the motors made by them are typically the ones used in airplanes today.


Which engine's cylinders are placed around an inner circle?

Rotary engines have cylinders that are placed in a circle. They are placed in this manner because they rotate when the engine is in use.


Which engine was said to be the same as Britain's Whittle engine?

The General Electric I-16/J-31 was thought to be the same as the Whittle engine. The Whittle engine was a British-made engine and the I-16/J-31 was built to bring American planes up to par.


What is the name of the fuel used to power small airplane engines?

Avgas is the name of the gas used in small airplanes to power their engines. This gas powers piston engines and is commonly used by pilots who fly private small planes.


Which engine would you find on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner?

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner uses the General Electric GEnx Engine. The plane seats hundreds of people and uses two of these engines to thrust it into the air.


Which part regulates the air pressure in the engine?

The compressor regulates the air pressure in the engine. The compressor does exactly as it sounds, it compresses the air down and then moves it into the combustor.


What was the first type of airplane engine ever used in a functional plane?

A piston engine was the first type of engine used in a functional plane. The Wright Brothers used this type of engine to power the plane with which they conducted their first flight.


Do you know which airplane engine was the first used to fly across the Atlantic Ocean?

The 1917 Liberty L-12 was the first engine used to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. This engine was also used in combat during World War I, for which it was specifically developed.


Is it true or false that rocket engines have been used in airplanes?

This is true. It may seem like they are only used in rockets, but some airplanes use these as well! They can be used alone but are sometimes paired with a different type of engine.


Which type of engine was used in NASA's X-43 flight?

A ScramJet engine was used for this flight. The engine performed exactly as it was supposed to and reached amazing speeds. It was used on later flights as well.


Which engine was used on the Concorde?

The Rolls-Royce/Snecma Olympus 593 was used on the Concorde. There were four of these engines on the plane that were, for the most part, the same, except for the fourth engine which was a bit different.


Where is the fan typically located on an engine?

The fan on an airplane engine is typically found on the front. This is where it best serves its purpose of pushing the air to where it needs to be so that the engine can do its job.


Which company made the Wasp series engines?

Pratt & Whitney is the manufacturer of the Wasp series of engines. The engines in the series were radial engines, and each one was a different size and had different power.


Which engine was used on the Supermarine Spitfire?

The Rolls-Royce Merlin was used on the Supermarine Spitfire since these were common during World War II. After the development of a better engine, this plane commonly had a Rolls-Royce Griffon.


Which company makes an advanced turboprop engine?

General Electric makes an advanced turboprop engine. This engine is used in planes like the Cessna Denali and it is competition for Pratt & Whitney's turboprop engines.


Which engine was used in the popular Lear Jet 23?

The General Electric CJ610, which was a turbojet engine, was used on the Lear Jet 23. This engine was only produced for about 10 years and it was also used in the Aero Commander Jet Commander 1121.


What type of engine is the Rolls-Royce Merlin V-12 Engine?

The Rolls-Royce Merlin V-12 is a V-type engine. This engine was commonly used during World War II and was trusted because of its reliability in times of desperate need.


Which company made the WAM series engines?

Wilksch made the WAM series engines. Some of the engines in this series run on diesel and they've been used in planes like the Vans RV-9.


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