Dave, W8TVC submitted this article about a modified Volkswagon Beetle.
He said it was clear to him that this guy was a sure thing for the IOOK Technology Center!
The following information speaks for itself.
This is a my street-legal jet car on full afterburner. The car has two engines: the production gasoline engine in the front driving the front wheels and the jet engine in the back. The idea is that you drive around legally on the gasoline engine and when you want to have some fun, you spin up the jet and get on the burner (you can start the jet while driving along on the gasoline engine). The car was built because I wanted the wildest street-legal ride possible. With this project, I was able to use some stuff I learned while getting my fancy engineering degree (I have a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University) to design the car without the distraction of how other people have done it in the past - because no one has. I don
The car is licensed here in
Car was built to look as if VW delivered the car this way. It handles fine and is safe. I was thinking of putting it into an import car show but the promoter told me that it looked too plain and recommended that I put some decals on it, lower it, and put on some aftermarket wheels. Sure kid, put on some flimsy wheels won
The Beetle was chosen because it looks cool with the jet and it shows it off well. Remember the
The production hatch release switch on the driver
Here you can see the split in the tailpipe after a particularlily rude burner pop. All fixed and reinforced now. The heat blanket keeps the plastic bumper from melting when the jet is operating.
The back of the gauge panel was kept open to give the car a techie look. Something to talk about. The car
The first thing I did when I got the car was to cut the hole in the back for the engine. Made a fancy jig out of a tripod, a rod, and a lawnmower wheel to mark out the cut and went at it with a pneumatic saw. Then finished it off with jeweler
There are three gauges for the jet: %RPM, Oil Pressure, and Turbine Inlet Temperature. The most important is turbine inlet temperature. If you exceed about 650 degrees C for very long, you damage the engine. This is critical on start-up. You don
Lotsa stuff back here. The force from the jet is tied to the vehicle through sandwich plates inside the car bolted to contoured aluminum billets that were slid into the frame rails. You can see the billet on the left side with a hole in its center, welded to the plate with 4 bolts. Used helium as the inert gas and a lot of current to weld that chunk of aluminum. To return the car to its production height, adjustable spring perches were used. Same spring rate, just corrected the ride height. Drives and handles fine. Kerosene is stored in a custom 14 gallon, baffled, foam-filled kevlar fuel cell in the spare tire well. Two fuel exits in the back: a -12 on the left side and a -10 on the right. The -10 goes to a shutoff, then a Barry Grant pump (one of the few hot rod parts on the car), then up into the car where it sees a filter, a regulator, and an electrical shutoff valve before feeding the engine. The -12 goes into a shutoff, then a 1.5 hp, 11,000 rpm, 24V custom electric pump. Pump is magnesium and can maintain 100 psi at 550 gph. From the pump it goes into the car to a filter, then a large regulator, and then to the afterburner solenoid and the big-fire solenoid (to left of pump and feeding bottom of tailpipe through orange covered hose). Fuel system was tested for flow capability. Above the big pump you can see the relocated gasoline cap actuator and all that black stuff on the right side is the stock fuel evaporative control equipment. All circuits feeding solenoids and pumps have fuses, relays, kick-back diodes to minimize contact arcing, sealed connectors, and use automotive wires of a gauge giving a maximum of 1V drop over the circuit loop.
The engine is a General Electric Model T58-8F. This is a helicopter turboshaft engine that was converted to a jet by some internal modifications and a custom tailpipe. The engine spins up to 26,000 RPM (idle is 13,000 RPM), draws air at 11,000 CFM, and is rated at 1350 hp. It weighs only 300 lbm. It grows as it warms up so the engine mounts have to account for this. The mounts in the front are rubber and the back are sliding mounts on rubber. The structure holding the engine was designed using finite element analysis and is redundant. Strong, damage tolerant, and light. Second battery and fuse/relay panel on the right, halon fire system and 5 gallon dry sump tank on left. 24V starter motor is in the nose of the engine. 700 A of current goes into that motor for 20 seconds during start-up. Due to heat, must limit starts to three in one hour. Big screen is to avoid FOD (foreign object damage). Jet keeps sucking the rose out of the bud vase on the dash!
A lot of attention to details in the car. Note the aluminum block holding/protecting the halon gas line, pull line, harness to engine, and oil pressure line. Rectangular tank under inlet screen is for various fuel drains. Note temperature gauge and shutoff valve for dry sump tank. 3 gallons of turbine oil at $25/quart (ouch!). Two-stage PPG paint matching exterior of car was used inside the car. It is not easy to paint around a lot of bars, etc while crouched in a car, in your dusty home garage, avoiding drips, and with your wife screaming that the fumes will cause brain damage in the kids. Especially with two-stage where you have multiple coats and critical drying times. Kids passed their grades so I guess damage was minimal, but more importantly, the paint turned out great!
Street racing action. The other guy wimped out after a few "big-fire" demonstrations. What you see in the picture is about one-twentieth the full size of the fireball. Guy standing beside car had never seen it run before and was smiling ear-to-ear throughout the show. Had I launched, I would have burned him to a crisp. Well, live and learn.
We get this a lot. A police officer picking at his nose while trying to figure out what to charge me with. Notice the hopeful anticipation of us on the right. We
The car was built in this garage. Paint, welding, everything except some mill work. That
Looks cool from the top. Will want to make aluminum housings to go over the engines just like on a DC-9.
Has the IOOK thought about recruiting this guy as an IOOK Technology Center member?
Response from the VPIC Guru....
"A M A Z I N G!
That one bypassed the Technology Center advanced research and practical engineering department.
However, now that we have the idea, we are going to investigate whether or not we can miniaturize the jet so that it is not so obvious.
Once done, we will look into installing it on the Hamvention IOOK rental cars so that we can get some added sleep before going to the California
Garden every morning for breakfast.
73 de NN3V ...-.-"