Why do birds getting sucked into a jet engine cause such trouble? The engine can lift a jet, so how is it not powerful enough to chew up some bird bones with no problem?

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Why do birds getting sucked into a jet engine cause such trouble? The engine can lift a jet, so how is it not powerful enough to chew up some bird bones with no problem?

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The same power that makes it chew a bird with ease also chews another turbine blade with ease – which can cause a cascade of failures as lose pieces of metal start chewing into each other at incredible speeds.

Not an expert but those turbine blades are spinning at massive speeds. Even something small, when hit at speed is going to cause some damage, and then as soon as there is damage to the blades, the whole thing is going to become unbalanced, probably causing a cascade of damage.

Jets are extremely sophisticated machines. It can chew up bird bones, but not without clogging the very fine tolerances and air path needed for compression and the production of thrust.

Not to mention turbine blades are not meant for cutting, especially at the extremely high speeds that they will hit birds. I work in aviation repair and have seen the nicks and dents created in them. Every little imperfection is a loss of efficiency, so a big deformation on multiple blades might be enough to kill the jet’s power entirely.

I have no idea but I’m just gonna make a guess but a jet engines main purpose is to do its primary job being make the plane fly, so when the engines are being manufactured they focus on efficiency in the engine rather then caring about protecting it from the very odd chance birds fly into it. So once something such as a bird gets into it problems occur as it hasn’t been made with the purpose of being able to function with foreign objects inside of it.

Imagine that you have several lego parts and you made it like the blades of a jet engine (compressor). Drop something on it and it will break.
A jet engine contains a lot of blades ( compressors, turbines etc ). Now imagine building several lego blades and putting them side by side. Drop something on it and your blades would break and the pieces + bird going into the engine itself. And at the end your engine gets damaged

They are designed to chew up birds and not malfunction, you can watch engine test videos on YouTube. The problem is that usually an airplane suffers a bird strike on takeoff and if it’s enough birds it can cause a flameout in the engine causing it to lose power.

Bird hits engine – no problem, creates a tiny chip

Tiny chip hits engine, creates a bigger chip, maybe some problem.

Bigger chip hits engine, and bam, a blade comes off.

Engine dies in a glorious bang