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Yeah, I’m a Top Gear junkie, too. So if you missed it when they strapped a little jet engine to bicycle four or five years ago in an unsuccessful successful attempt to beat London’s congestion charge entertain, take two minutes to watch the video above. (Just click on the pic to link to the un-embeddable BBC YouTube vid. Thanks, TM reader Gil, for shooting us the link.)

But I’m not showing you this to warn you off the dangers of letting Jeremy Clarkson assemble ANYTHING on a vehicle you intend to operate. I’m showing you this to suggest that you can buy the same kit Clarkson snagged with Brits’ license fees and put it to your own uses.

The kit chosen by the BBC is purportedly the P180, built and sold by JetCat USA, a company out of Paso Robles, CA. It’s a complete kit, too, including an engine control unit (ECU), programmer and display, an LED I/O board, fuel pump, starting gas and fuel valves, fuel plumbing, a gas tank, and pretty much everything else you need to build a jet-powered whateverthehellyouwant — battery included. The finished product weighs five pounds, is about 5″ in diameter, and produces 45 lbs. of thrust when spinning at around 110,000 RPM.

A couple of minor drawbacks: with a 25-hour maintenance interval, you’d better plan for short go-cart/tricycle/whatever runs. And at just under $5,000 for the kit, you’d better plan on skipping that Hawaii trip this year. (Or if you’re more in my financial boat, eating.)

But hey — if you’ve got the cash, the link’s below. Send us pictures, please.

P180 Jet Engine Kit [JetCat USA]


4 Responses to Jet-Powered Projects Made Easy (If Not Cheap)

  1. zor says:

    That would make a good backpack leaf blower. With the extended tube it might even be quieter than a gas engine!

  2. A.Crush says:

    There are homebuilt units that are a lot less expensive. But jet power is still pretty impractical for a bike. Electric motors can make them go pretty fast…and run on solar power, too. But pedaling is good exercise.

  3. Eddie says:

    I wonder what would happen if you put one or two of those on an ultralight aircraft?

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