The Power Tool Drag Races 2004
Jet Powered Racers
In the Unusual design class there were several home built jet engines.
This impressive machine is a variation on a Turbo Fan Jet. the front fan is powered by a router motor and it pumps air into the engine housing. Fuel is injected into the airflow and ignited with a spark plug controlled with a large Rheostat.
The engine housing is pretty large about one and a half feet in diameter. The hot exhaust exits the rear of the housing and provides the thrust to get the racer moving..
The racer is know to drip pools of burning liquid fuel onto the track when its running. It is difficult to get the fuel to atomize and combust properly in the large air flow. These are common problem to overcome in Jet engines. The first Jets built by Frank Whittle had the same difficulty's. But with a bit of work and changes this one actually runs well. You have to admire folks that build their own Jet engines in their garage. This is the type of stuff that keeps America strong
Bob Pitzer built this Pulse Jet racer using a Mosquito fogger running on unleaded gasoline.
A Pulse Jet is a simple type of a Jet engine basically it has a combustion chamber a spring loaded flapper valve and a fuel source and a spark plug to get it fired up.
In operation initially the spring loaded valve is
open and air can enter the engine. Fuel is added and ignited and the expanding
gasses slam the valve shut and a pulse of thrust exits the rear of the
engine. Once the pressure drops in the combustion chamber. The spring loaded
valve opens and fresh air enters the engine. More fuel is added and ignited
and the cycle repeats. This engine cycles at about 20,000 times per second.
So it make a heck of a lot of noise and smoke and fire and stuff. The thrust produced this action is about six lbs and the racer weighs about six lbs. So the racer moves forward and everyone plugs their ears and runs for cover.
Another nice shot of Pitzers, Bud Light Pulse Jet.
By the way for you history buffs this jet technology came from those Darn NAZI's and their V1 cruise missile used against the English in WW2.
Some more pictures of the Turbo Jet powered racer. It's operation is the closest to a real jet engine of all the types at this event.
Because of the speeds of the turbojet engine (30,000 Rpms or more) this engine uses an electric pump to feed synthetic motor oil to the bearing on the Turbo that makes up the body of this engine.
This beasty uses a Kirby vacuum cleaner to pump air into a combustion chamber and fuel is add to the air stream. Boy it sure makes a heck of a nice flame thrower.
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Races sponsored by the Q-Box.