back to article Jet-powered go-kart roars onto eBay

Those of you with a need for speed may be interested in this eBay auction which is offering "for the price of a sports motorcycle" a jet-powered go-kart guaranteed to attract all the right kind of attention: A photo of the jet-powered go-cart UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY - A GAS TURBINE (JET ENGINE) POWERED GO KART WITH AFTERBURNER/ …


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  1. Andy

    no ejector seat?

    I see they've failed to fit the ejector seat. amature.

  2. Sean Nevin

    Engine design

    I am an electronics engineer, and not a mechanical or aeronautical engineer, but I can't help but notice the intake for that engine... It seems to be just a dryer exhaust tube leading to the side. I not sure of the actual numbers involved, but I would think that while the jet probably works, it does not work "too well". As it would not get enough air into the engine to really bring it up to Mach-anything speeds.

    But again, while I know exactly how the electronics and digital meters work, engines are not my specialty.

    Still looks pretty damn cool though!

  3. Alan

    I want it!

    ..If only I could afford it. Not sure that I'd have the stones to drive it tho..

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Low flying Jet.

    "Mind you, the idea of giving a speed camera the finger while doing Mach 0.6 round the M25 is rather appealing"

    It reminds me of a story a friend of mine once told me. He was out doing a traffic survay for the police in south Wales, doing some part time work in Sixth Form. Getting bored the saw a Tornado aproching them at low altitude and dicided to point the radar gun at it. Apparently they clocked it at 400+ mph. However they think it didnt do to much good for the gun as the next car that passed them (On a narrow country lane) was clocked at 125 mph. By all accounts they didnt get another sensable reading out of it again. Sounds like a good way for the anti speed camera people to go.

  5. Alain Fisher


    I'd be a bit worried about doing a "Richard Hammond" though....

  6. Ash

    I'm not surprised he'd not pictured driving it...

    ... you can see ashphalt through the frame base.

    There is no WAY i'd risk my foot slipping off the plate and under that.

  7. Will

    I await in anticipation

    Countdown to the first owner posting the video of its maiden flight on YouTube. I want to see this!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Test Driver?

    Maybe Richard Hammond could test this one for us?

  9. Mark McGuire

    Re: I want it

    Yeah same here. I'd just get my friend to drive it, he has no common sense. Which is why I shouldn't cause he'd probably get himself killed.

    And on the intake thing, yeah I noticed that myself. It'd be pretty ugly if someone built an imitation without intakes at all. Wouldn't the driver be sucked in? I'm no aerospace genius, but I think that's what would happen.

  10. Chris Morrison

    My Stag Do

    I'm Go Karting for my stag do on saturday. Any chance of it making it to Glasgow by then!!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I can't help notice that there is a distinct lack of any basic safety equipment, such as a firewall between the jet engine and the driver/pilot.

    This go-cart has 'Richard Hammond' written all over it.

  12. Matt Milford


    That doesn't even look slightly safe

  13. Mat Rule

    Slightly more leery

  14. Ray

    MPG and range?

    Hahaha, I wonder what the mpg or range of the kart is. Wouldn't like having to refuel every couple of laps round the track. Seems strange why the seller doesn't fire up the kart for a snap, or try to get a mph reading using a gps receiver. Sounds fishy, you gotta be mad to bid without seeing it real life first.

  15. Mad Mike


    'doesn't even look slightly safe'.

    It's lunatics like this the human species needs. Of course a large number end up wrapped round a tree of similar and die horrible deaths, but it is only through people like this that we evolve and develop new technology. If nobody ever did anything that didn't look dangerous, we'd still be riding horses. Probably not even that. When the first person decided to climb up on the back of a horse, someone undoubtedly told him he was made and it didn't look safe.

    On another note, the more people who manage to kill themselves doing stupid things like this, the less strain on the state for pensions etc. and therefore the more for me!! So, please encourage more people to do lunatic things like this.

  16. Simon R. Bone


    is that really a necessary feature on a jet-powered go-kart?

    oh and keep it away from the producers of Top Gear, lest they get another great idea....

  17. James Pickett


    "Push one button to inject fuel, then push the other to ignite!"

    You're pouring fuel into a jet exhaust and it needs to be ignited..?

    This has 'loony' written all over it, IMO.

  18. Jon Green a straight line...

    I'd be interested to see how it corners at speed! Might be a tad difficult to take down the thrust in time.


  19. Jon Green

    Re: Low flying Jet.

    This is an Urban Legend, and it's been circulating for around a decade. A more extended version of the same has the jet's automatic fire control system designating the speed gun that "painted" it as a threat, and triggering an automatic retaliatory A-G strike, only thwarted by its fail-safes. (Some variations actually suggest that the missile was fired.)


    Although the Snopes page dates it to 1999, I'd definitely come across the legend before that date.


  20. Michael Auerswald


    Anyone claiming to have done more than 60 on the M25 must be a liar.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm no engineer, but...

    Hmmm... bit asymmetrical, no?

    1 x large heavy battery on the right-hand side means increased momentum, so slower response to acceleration/breaking meaning that the cart should tend to the right while accelerating and to the left while breaking.

    1 x air intake on the left-hand side should mean increased acceleration on the lighter side of the vehicle, exacerbating the veer.

    The more power you have, the more stability you need, surely?

  22. lansalot

    test drive please !

    Being in the vicinity, I have emailed him a question, to see if I can "kick the tyres and light the fires" in our local B&Q car park. No response yet.

    That should be a lark. And quite possibly my last..

    "maverick lansalot"

    ("goose lansalot" sounds too much like an instruction...)

  23. mahoney

    top drawer

    Throw in a robot monkey co-pilot, and you've got yourself a buyer.

  24. Andy S

    Darwin Awards

    Perhaps the new owner can pre-register themselves for an award?

    The cart lacks even the most basic of aerodynamics to keep it on the road at speed. Also with no head support the unfortunate driver would probably break their own neck the first time they accellerated

  25. George Brown

    I seem to recall..

    ..that I saw a programme in which Jeremy Clarkson was riding around on a jet-powered bicycle. That seemed ludicrously dangerous, but extremely fun. It also didn't look a lot safer than this, and he absolutely loved it. I want one too!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    asymmetric ?

    All pukka race karts are. Including the evil 250cc paddle shift monsters at the sports apex. Nearly ninety horsepower, wings, slicks and 6 speed paddle shift transmission in a package weighing about 125 kilo's with driver......Yee Ha ! Heading for the wrong side of 700 hp per ton.

    As for stability, some is good. Too much means it wont corner quickly enough. True rocket surfers only need apply.


  27. Sir Runcible Spoon

    More Jet-ty type lunacy..

    Btw you need over 200 free-fall jumps to qualify for training with a wing-suit

    Then you need to have your brains removed in order to qualify to use these little starter-jets :D

  28. Marc

    Awe, come on guys!!

    I'd nearly kill to take a ride on this thing.

    It's really not that much different (setup wise) from a racing cart or shifter-cart. it's almost certainly what this cart is based off of. The flooring looks about right. Your feet ride up in front of the front wheels and there is all kinds of sure-footing there.

    I really doubt the thing puts out all that much power. The intake to exhaust inlet/outlet size doesn't sit well with me. I'd bet a 125cc shifter cart would be entirely more scary of a ride. - they're capable of 115mph and I've seen them having a hard time getting the rear wheels to hook up through half of that. Now that's a fun ride. You can grab one here in the US for 3 grand.

    People make this type of stuff all the time out of pulse-jets and old turbochargers. They look evil and have a lot of bark, but there is not a whole lot behind them.

  29. Marc

    Safety / Aerodynamics...

    Another thing... racing carts don't have harnesses, head restraints or roll bars. The only head restraint is the padded collar under your helmet. You crash, you bail... like a motorcycle.

    Jet engined powered vehicles (running on thrust alone) need a LOT of thrust to accelerate quickly. This thing would probably accelerate at the speed of an underpowered economy car... the difference being that power wouldn't fall off on the top end - it should keep on 'pullin' longer than a piston / drivetrain vehicle. If the intake is designed right, it would actually build power the faster it went.

    I still don't see it breaking a hundred... :\

  30. peter


    Sadly any conventional kart will beat it at speed accelration and braking, they are amazingly fast . LIke the post above, this thing would probably accelerate at the speed of an underpowered economy car. Much more fun to put a motorcycle engine on one.

  31. Jim

    125cc Shifter - Awesome!

    "I'd bet a 125cc shifter cart would be entirely more scary of a ride. - they're capable of 115mph and I've seen them having a hard time getting the rear wheels to hook up through half of that."

    Scarey? Nah!

    Not quite what you mean by hooking up the rear wheels. Given that the kart kas a fixed rear axle (no diff) then you either have to slide the back (fun at 60-70) or set the chassis up so that the inside wheel lifts during a turn (much faster).

    As for braking, I'm guessing that the jet kart would be identical to a shifter as a 2-stroke provides neglible engine braking - that's why shifters are fitted with front brakes too.

    The kart in question looks like it is intended for oval racing so turning is less critical.

  32. Rob Clarke


    I'm the other half of the team Jetped-Boarders who was responsible for this Jetkart nad can confirm that it was pretty damn quick. The turbine is an APU from a commercial jet You can see our other 'twin jet kart' which was even quicker here: or have a look at Youtube shortly. You will see some footage of this Jetkart :) this space.....

  33. christopher


    Starter motor.

    Thrust 90~500lbs

    Fuel Consumption:~12Gallons per hour Jet-A

    Weight:140lbs empty.


    Assuming nozzle type, airflow, weight & resistance of the cart its top acceleration is 0-60mph in 18seconds +/- 10 Seconds

    Airflow characteristics unknown. top speed 300+/- 300mph

  34. Phillip Brown


    has some videos as well

  35. Chris Donald

    The line about giving the speed cameras the finger just had me in stitches..

    Maybe it´s because I´m on holiday elsewhere, but the image of setting off every UK robotic tax collector at Mach 0.6 is really funny.

    Of course, I don´t think I´d sell it as a vehicle...rather I´d sell it as a cure for constipation!

  36. Steve Cook

    for the price of a fireblade you can have a JET POWERED KART....

    Just no... I mean, come off it. Do I want to get a 160+mph bike with a sub 3 second 0-60 and fantastic performance and looks that matches women's Brad Pritt fantasies?

    I'm guessing, wildy mind you, that cornering is not fantastic - if it exists, pulling away from silly boy racers is hard to do at best and is more uncomfortable than the original Green Meanie. Between a Fireblade and a drag kart... Fireblade wins hands down in all but... but... fuel consumption?

    Nice engineering though, if you can build that, how about going one up and trebling the size and power? Mega Kart?

    ...only on Nintendo

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