Whether they’re small planes, private jets, military planes or commercial airliners, airplanes are expensive.
Unsurprisingly, the jet engines that power these aircraft are also expensive.
While the price of a jet engine depends on the jet it’s designed for, we can tell you that jet engines can cost anywhere between $50,000 for small planes to over $20 million for the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 that is used in Boeing 787 jetliners.
Cost of Jet Engines – By Aircraft Type
A majority of small planes use turboprop engines instead of jet engines. The small planes that do use jet engines are usually unmanned aerial vehicles(UAVs).
Depending on the model, a small plane’s jet engine can cost anywhere between $50,000 to $80,000, which is considerably less expensive than large planes.
Examples of popular small jet engines include the PBS TJ150 and PBS TJ40-G1
Most private jet engines are produced by either General Electric or Rolls Royce.
The price range for a private jet engine begins at $750,000 and can reach several millions of dollars.
Private jet engines are much more expensive than small plane engines, though are still cheaper than passenger plane engines.
Examples of popular jet engines include the AE3007C2 and TAY 611-8C.
Related: How Much Does a Private Jet Cost?
A commercial airplane’s jet engine generates massive amounts of thrust, equivalent to a force of 55,000 lbs to 77,000 lbs.
Commercial airline engine prices vary, but they usually run into the several millions of dollars.
One of the most common commercial airplane jet engines is the Rolls Royce Trent 1000, which costs $20 million.
Military jets typically use more powerful jet engines than civilian aircraft.
The F135, for example, produces 40,000 lbf (191 Kn) of thrust.
Depending on the jet engine’s model and availability, military jet engines are typically the most expensive.
The costs of the latest military jets as well as their parts are not publicly available, but it’s known that the US government has spent billions of dollars on military jet development.
Cost of Jet Engines – By Aircraft Model
The AVIC 601-S is a small UAV that’s only 2.1m or 7 feet long.
It uses a single turbojet engine whose specifications are unknown.
The cost of the plane itself is unknown to the public, but it’s estimated that its engine cost is higher than $1 million.
The Ghatak is a stealth combat UAV that’s only 4m long.
This plane uses a variant of the GTRE GTX-35VS Kaveri engine.
The cost of the engine itself is not publicly disclosed, but the plane’s total development cost was $377 million, which suggests the engine cost was also several million dollars.
Embraer Legacy 600
The Embraer Legacy 600 uses Rolls Royce AE 3007 engines, which are common in both private jets and military aircraft.
This engine generates a thrust of 6,442–7,042 lbf (28.66–31.32 kN). The estimated cost per engine is $3.76 million.
The Gulfstream G650 uses the Royce BR710, which is extensively used for corporate and private jets.
This engine generates a thrust of 68.4 kN (15,400 lbf). The estimated cost of this engine is $1.8 million per unit.
The Boeing 777 uses the General Electric GE90 engine family.
These engines generate thrusts of 110,760–115,540 lbf (492.7–513.9 kN).
In 2014, BOC aviation purchased two of these engines for a Boeing 777ER for $140 million total or $70 million per engine.
The Airbus A220 uses two Pratt & Whitney PW1500G engines. The Pratt & Whitney 1500G produces 17,000–23,000 lbf(76–102 kN) of thrust.
The cost of each unit is reported to be approximately $10 million.
The F-15 fighting eagle uses the Pratt & Whitney F100 engine, an after-burning turbofan engine.
This engine produces 7,800 pounds-force lbf (79 kN) of military thrust and 29,160 lbf (129.7 kN) of thrust with the afterburner.
The Pakistani airforce acquired 60 engines in 1989 for a total of $220 million.
Boeing B-52 Stratofortress
The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress uses a Pratt & Whitney JT3D turbofan aircraft engine.
This engine generates 17,000 lbf (76kN) of thrust during takeoff.
This engine is no longer available for purchase today, but in the 1960s, it sold for between $600,000 to $850,000 per unit.
Cost to Design a Jet Engine
A jet engine could cost several billion dollars over its development cycle.
This cost is spread between designing, adding improvements, and preparing for mass production.
The high cost is due to the expensive hardware, infrastructure, simulations and stress tests.
Cost to Build a Jet Engine
Production costs depend on the complexity of the jet engine.
Generally, production of a jet engine will run into the millions or tens of million dollars.
Manufacturing is expensive because of the high manufacturing requirements in addition to the complexity of jet engine design.
Cost to Overhaul a Jet Engine
A full overhaul is usually anywhere between one-third to one-fifth of an engine’s original price.
Jet engine overhaul prices are usually between $200,000-$300,000 per engine.
Most major jet engine OEMs provide maintenance plans to create better value for their customers.
Why Jet Engines Are So Expensive
Jet engines contain thousands of moving parts.
Most of these parts are constructed using expensive materials. Some of these parts are difficult to manufacture, while others take long production times.
Most of these parts are designed and built by very skilled mechanics and engineers.
After production, an engine has to be tested to ensure very high safety standards are met.
After all, most jet engines have to be cleared for propelling hundreds of passengers over 500 mph at an altitude higher than 30,000 feet.