Just as your engine is the most complicated and important part of your car, a jet engine is the centerpiece of a commercial airliner. Sure, the wing is important too, but the engines not only get from point A to point B, but also give the wing the airflow that it needs to do its job.
Recently I had the opportunity to walk through United's engine repair shop at the airline's maintenance base at San Francisco International Airport. If you've ever wanted to see the insides of a modern commercial jet engine, this was the place to be. On display were engines for the Boeing 747 and 777 and a gallery of engine parts all labeled with a price tag. It was pretty astounding to learn just how much it all costs.
For a look inside the engine shop, check out the slideshow. And be sure to click through to the end to see close-up views of the Blue Angels aircraft--they were in town for San Francisco's Fleet Week--and a few United aircraft.