Three years ago The Kneeslider showed you a pretty basic pulsejet powered bicycle Robert Maddox had for sale. As projects go, it was pretty neat and after our short article Bob started getting attention from everywhere, you might say things have been (ahem) buzzing for Bob ever since. Well, he’s still at it, building more and bigger variations of these jets and strapping them on to all sorts of wheeled vehicles and he’s even got a plan for using several really big pulsejets all by themselves, who needs wheels? So when I got a note from Bob the other day, I thought I’d take a look to see what was up and the news is plans and kits so you can build one yourself.
Bob first got interested in pulsejets when he saw a diagram in an encyclopedia of a pulsejet powered V-1 buzz bomb. Later, as a skydiver, he thought of strapping one on for use during freefall and set about figuring out how to build one. It became evident the skydiving plan wasn’t such a great idea, but he did build a working engine with 50 pounds of thrust and has been steadily progressing over the intervening years with bigger and better engines.
After dozens of engines and thousands of tests, Bob now makes the most powerful and dependable pulsejets in the world. Bob’s pulsejets are featured on some of the most elaborate show cars, motorcycles, and bikes ever built, and he has become one of the most prolific pulse jet designers in the world. What’s next? Stay tuned because on the drawing board are plans for dragbikes, dragsters, twin jet hydrofoils, and a pulsejet powered 40 ft. tall 4 engine 5,000 lb. thrust rocket from which Bob will eject and skydive from 25,000 feet!!
Bob finally put together his own website where you can learn about his work, but the best part is he’s selling plans and parts kits so you can build your own pulsejet engine, every piece from the metal parts for the body of the engine to the reed valves, pumps, spark box, hoses, absolutely everything or just order the plans and do it all yourself, it depends on how much work you want to do. Heh! Now, that’s my kind of kit! These bikes, obviously, have zero practical value, but if you’re looking for utilitarian, you’re not looking at these to begin with.
The jet engines look well engineered and really would be a cool home building project, something sure to impress your neighbor, Fred, when he wanders over wondering what all of the late night sessions in the garage have been about. As jet engines go, pulsejets are pretty basic and you’ll most likely be the only guy in the neighborhood building one. Noise, fire and thrust, what more could you want? Build your skills and a pulsejet engine at the same time. Neat stuff, I like it.
Also, be sure to check out the video of the test run below, red hot pipes!