Gadget Freak

Gadget Freak Jr.: Homebrew Jet Engines

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Re: Test-stand turbo
Tool_maker   10/31/2011 6:38:49 AM
I am glad to see you have rethought your position. The opposite of wreckless is not meek, but the opposite of cavelier is thoughtful. Your cavelier attitude toward the safety of coworkers that was presented in your first post has been replaced by a more thoughtful response. I just hope the attitude shift was real and not contrived when you realized how silly the first post sounded.

Ralphy Boy
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Re: Turbocharger as Jet Engine
Ralphy Boy   10/31/2011 5:00:07 PM
Hey Ivan... I was hoping that someone who built one of these 'turbo-jets' would post. I've watched a few hours worth of the videos that the backyard mechanics have of these up on YouTube... They look like a fun toy to experiment with.

And going with an old auto turbocharger seems relatively safe.


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Homebrew Jet Engines
MYRONB   11/28/2011 5:05:50 PM
As an electrical engineer, my peers raise their eyebrows when they learn of my interest in jet engines.  I love reading about, and sometimes experimenting with, turbines and pulse jets, and an occasional rocket (OK, so it's not an air-breathing jet engine).

I enjoyed the construction article and I'd like to add to the commentaries an experience I had with a pulse jet and the useful lessons I learned.  Please see the following link in Design News magazine:


Best regards,

Myron Boyajian


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Re: Homebrew Jet Engines
Grunchy   12/2/2011 10:49:13 AM
I remember so long ago reading in Popular Mechanics how a backyard mechanic built a tiny jet for his glider so he wouldn't have to use a tow plane - and apparently it worked!  So as a kid I read through all the jet engine articles in the encyclopedia and everything they had at the library.

Jets deliver decent fuel economy and incredible power density but they are the opposite of "tractable" in that they don't really make a lot of (low speed) torque and they don't handle changes in power output very well.  However, I always figured a small jet running an appropriately geared generator would make an admirable hybrid powerplant for a car.

Then again diesel-electric locomotives were the original hybrid, and I've never heard of a jet-electric locomotive, so maybe it isn't such a good combo in reality.

Check that - 11,100 hp turbine-electric locomotive was successfully tested in Russia Sept 2011, pulled 16,000 tonnes.

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Re: Homebrew Jet Engines
ricardo   12/2/2011 4:47:24 PM
Actually jet engines have terrible fuel consumption.  As do turbine powered shafts as in turbine powered cars.  Their big advantage is power/weight.

It's only very recently that high bypass turbofans on airliners became comparable to other engines on a distance/payload/fuel basis.  And this requires operation at very high speeds & altitudes.

There was a rash of demonstration turbine cars in the 60's but then came the oil crisis ...

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Micro Turbine (turbo alternator)
Grunchy   12/2/2011 9:52:14 PM
Interesting - according to whoever contributed to Wikipedia, the "micro turbine" is recognized as a promising technology for powering future hybrid electric vehicles. Efficiency of modern versions approaches that of reciprocating engines.  Hotter exhaust is also more useful for cabin heating/cooling.  Range Rover is apparently currently working on another turbine powered car (a turbine electric hybrid) as a follow up to their failed 1960 Rover turbine prototype that, lacking an electric intermediary stage, had terrible throttle response.  So interesting!  Wow, maybe batman was right after all, maybe jet cars will finally become reality. If the turbine has just 1 moving part like the electric intermediary, maintenance should really be a thing of the past.

Alexander Wolfe
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Re: Micro Turbine (turbo alternator)
Alexander Wolfe   12/4/2011 6:20:32 PM
I don't know how viable a turbine would be for a car. Look at the Abrams tank, which needs 7 gallons of jet fuel just to light the engine. It's got a 500 gallon tank but I believe Abrams tanks in battle need a hefty supply line to support them, because they have to be refueled every four hours.

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