Thrust in idle engines

From:         Jean-Francois Mezei <MEZEI_JF@Eisner.DECUS.Org>
Organization: Digital Equipment Computer Users Society
Date:         13 Oct 95 01:30:29 
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When an engine is "idle" (eg: when aircraft awaiting takeoff, when aircraft
finally parks at the gate etc), how much thrust is being generated ?

If brakes are not applied, will the aircraft start moving right away with
engines "idling" ? When idling, do the compressor blades spin slowly enough to
be seen ?

Also, in a previous posting, someone said that without an APU, an aircraft
would require power and "air" from the ground to start its engine. Are we
talking about compressed air ? What for ?

Also, why are DC9s and 727s capable of backing up from the gate without being
pushed ? Is it a technical or legal consideration ? (eg: engines being far
enough away from terminal for noise control etc).