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BangShift Question of the Day: What’s the Largest Engine You’ve Ever Hung Around With?


BangShift Question of the Day: What’s the Largest Engine You’ve Ever Hung Around With?

When Chad posted the photo of the incredibly huge turbocharger the other day, it got me thinking about the biggest engine I have ever been around. That monster is show below. It is a 600hp powerplant that haa a 16-foot diameter flywheel and is located at the Owl’s Head Transportation Museum in Maine.

This engine was large enough that it took up the vast majority of a large room and was installed onto a specially build brick foundation that was relieved for the flywheel. I loved the fact that they had to trench out the floor to get it to fit. This monster powered a entire printing operation in Rhode Island back in the day. It was donated, all 30 tons of it, to the museum a long while ago. The museum volunteers re-assembled it, restored it, and run it a few times a year for different events.

I think that this was physically the largest engine I’d ever been around, steam or otherwise. Some of you guys with Naval experience probably think this thing is a kid’s toy, so we’re interested to find out what the biggest engine you’ve ever been around, worked on, or just marveled at is?

Question of the day: What’s the largest engine you have spent time with in person?

Steam engine at Owl's head Transportation Museum


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10 thoughts on “BangShift Question of the Day: What’s the Largest Engine You’ve Ever Hung Around With?

  1. ford141

    There is a place close to me called Coolspring Power Museum. Very cool place with tons of antique stationary engines. They have a 600hp Snow engine that was used as a natural gas compressor into the 70s. It is 65 feet long, the 18ft diameter flywheel alone weighs 20 tons. They estimate the total weight at aroun 140 tons. Pretty impressive to see. They hope to have it operational by this summer.

  2. TheSilverBuick

    Yeah the Navy guys are going to have us beat. Due to lame 9/11 rules the cruise ship I was a tourist on didn’t allow engine room tours.

    ~3500-4500 HP V20 locomotive or generators are the biggest I’ve been around.

    1. Tony

      I worked on a T-AO class Navy ship for a few months, basically a tanker. We had two main propulsion PC 4.2 Colt-Pielsticks. They were v-10’s rated at 16,000 hp a piece, huge. Then we also had two v-16s for generators worth 8,000 hp a piece. Other than that just some single screw dual boiler ships. Turbines aren’t really as cool as a giant diesel in my opinion.

  3. aircooled

    Well, if we allow engines without pistons (gas turbines), the largest I’ve tested, installed and commissioned was a GE MS7001EA. ISO rated at 115,000 hp, but only made something like 85,000 hp in the middle eastern desert.
    I saw a couple of MS9001EA being manufactured (175,000 hp ISO) but those were for a co-worker’s project.

    Right now I’m looking at a quintet of 5000hp dual fuel (diesel and natural gas) Wartsila’s for a drilling rig and a quartet of 47,000hp LM2500 (CF6-6’s for you flyboys ) for an FPSO.

  4. 75Duster

    The General Electric steam engine on the USS Willamette (AO-180), the nuclear power plants on board the USS Nimitz (CVN-68).

  5. Brent

    Cross Compound Corliss

    750 H.P. at 36 RPM weight 130 tons

    Old Thresher’s Museum in Mount Pleasant, Iowa

  6. Paul Bradley

    Marine diesel 8-RND90 Sulzer. Two stroke turbocharged. 8 cylinders. 900mm bore, 1550mm stroke. 23,400 HP

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