In 2022, I built a model car powered entirely by a micro jet turbine intended for RC jet aircraft. This following year, I'm stepping it up with more power, and a completely new aluminium chassis.
Hello Project Air viewers, I'm making good progress with the new jet car and thought I'd share where it is currently, a couple of weeks away from the first shake down test run.
The Aluminium Chassis
The main difference between this car and the version 1 is the chassis. The car is still based on the popular Arrma Limitless, with the front and rear suspension assemblies and other hardware being taken from it, but the metal floor has now been replaced with a custom aluminium box.
This has been cut by the sponsor of my upcoming video, PCBWay. It all fits together like a big jigsaw with the help of 3d printed brackets and supports that have threaded inserts melted into them. It's turned out dead strong.
A huge thank you has to go to the guys at Arrma for their support with this build. They've provided not one, but two Arrma Limitless' to help me out. The first was a rolling chassis to canibalise for the jet car build itself, and the second was an awesome fully built speed car capable of speeds somewhere around 100mph.
This Limitless has been very helpful in teaching me how to drive! Piloting these 100mph+ speed run RC cars is a bit of a learning curve, especially on rubbish UK roads which tend to be very narrow. If I can learn to drive a car on one of these, I should be able to keep a jet car in a straight line on a runway.
The New Engine
Along with the new chassis, I have a new engine for this project. After reaching out to the German company Jet Cat, they kindly offered to sponsor the project through the loan of two amazing Jet Cat 220 RXi engines (one as a spare).
These things have more than twice the thrust of the original Swiwin 120B gas turbine used on the version 1 car. I can't wait to see what it'll do. The exhaust gas velocity on this thing is around 1000mph (!).
I picked these up from JetCat's UK importer, Motors and Rotors based in Watford, near London and spent the day talking over the project with Dave, who runs the specialist RC jet store.
If you're wanting to get involved with the UK RC jet scene, or would like to get yourself a micro jet turbine to play around with, talk to Dave!
The plan for testing is as follows:
1) An initial sub-100mph shake down at a local racetrack in mid-May.
2) Attending ROSSA to officially set the jet powered RC car world speed record in July (more info on ROSSA here).
3) Pushing to 200mph and beyond with the lessons learned from the previous tests.
The idea is to take it slow at first, and slowly notch up the speeds. We'll see how this plan changes!
Radio brownouts, wheels exploding and aerodynamic unknowns are all factors I'll have to contend with and overcome if I want to really get everything out of this car.
I'll be testing solutions to each of these problems in subsequent videos on the channel after the initial one about the build and shake down. This first video will be out at the end of May.
If you want to support this car (and get your name printed on it to show your support) sign up to my Patreon for as little as $3 per month. Also share with me what you're working on! I'd love to see your projects.