The world’s largest reciprocating diesel engine is made by Finland-based Wärtsilä Corporation to, as one might guess, power the world’s largest cargo ships.

At almost 43 feet high and 85 feet long, the 14-cylinder behemoth RT-flex96C weighs 2,300 tons. The crankshaft alone weighs 300 tons, while each piston — at nearly 20 feet tall — weighs over five tons. To give its massive size a frame of reference, the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles is 45 feet tall, while your typical blue whale measures 80 to 90 feet long. Ironically, 13 blue whales weigh less, at about 2,000 tons.

The RT-flex96C has a displacement of nearly 25,500 liters (or the equivalent of roughly 3,187 Bugatti Chiron engines) and produces 108,920 horsepower at 102 rpm with 5.6 million pound-foot of torque. It churns through 250 tons of fuel a day and uses over 39 barrels of oil per hour, with a per-minute cost of $34 — more depending on the price of oil on any given day.

RT-flex96C powered ships can haul 11,000 20-foot long shipping containers at a brisk 25 to 31 knots when most cargo ships are limited to around 20 knots and can get from the U.S. to China four days quicker. As of April 2023, only 25 of these Wärtsilä engines existed, with 86 more in the process of being constructed.

By mrtrv