While certainly Tom Brady’s arm and football acumen coupled with Bill Belichick’s vast experience and preparedness are the prime reasons the New England Patriots will be playing in their record 11th Super Bowl on Sunday, GE Aviation has played a role in powering the AFC champs back to the Big Game as well . . . literally.

When the team departed for Atlanta following their sendoff rally on Jan. 27, they boarded one of the organization’s two private jets, a Boeing 767-300ER powered by twin GE CF6-80 engines.

Above image: The New England Patriots’ customized Boeing 767 powered by the GE CF6-80. Image credit: Photo courtesy of the New England Patriots/David Silverman. Top image: The twin GE CF6-80s in the golden hour. Image credit: Photo courtesy of Patrick D. Wortman.

 

Operating these aircraft, affectionately referred to as “AirKrafts” in reference to team owner Bob Kraft, makes the five-time Super Bowl champs the first NFL franchise to own team planes (one is the primary, the other serves as backup).

And they likely won’t be the last as professional sports teams have been scrambling to find large jets to more efficiently and economically get them to their away games. The AirKrafts were originally part of the American Airlines fleet where they provided passenger service for 25 years following delivery in 1991.

Now Patriots fans are hoping the team can deliver another championship and deplane their GE-powered AirKraft holding another Super Bowl trophy!

But the real winners on Sunday? The GE CF6-80!