Why would this Boeing 747 need a 5th engine?

Why would this Boeing 747 need a 5th engine?

This is not a photo shop, but a photograph of a Qantas Boeing 747-300 with a little extra cargo — a 5th engine.

When a Qantas airplane needs a replacement engine or to have one worked on, sometimes they will attached the 5th engine onto a Boeing 747 and fly it without power to its destination.

This ends up being more cost effective for the airline. The 5th engine will limit the 747’s performance (not that it is known for its sporty maneuvering already), but it provides no additional safety risk.

There is also a photo of a Qantas Boeing 747-400 with a 5th engine.

People on Twitter are sharing other airplanes with additional engines:
* Lockheed L1011 Tristar thanks FlyingPhotog
* Boeing 720 thanks apgphoto
* DC-8 thanks TxAGFlyer
* Pan Am Boeing 747 thanks Skippyscage

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me: david@airlinereporter.com

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Ian Johnson

Spare engines are transported around the world by using a fifth pylon situated under the port wing. It is NOT powered and is usually fitted with a cover to prevent it windmilling thus reducing drag.

Bill Creighton

In 1980 while waiting to board my 747 flight from Sydney to Los Angeles on Quantas I noted it had five engines….three on the left and two on the right wing. I asked the co-pilot why and he explained that it was cost effective this way. No need to crate and take up valuable cargo space when there was a hardpoint available to just hang it on and just needed some trim to make it easy.

Bob McDonald

Or they could add 6 engines and make it fast enough to be capable of mach 1 speeds with a special design.

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