YouTuber Engine-Swaps His Go-Kart With a Howling Jet Turbine
With 70 pounds of thrust, this thing can move.
The whine of a jet engine is unmistakable, and your brain is accustomed to matching up the sound to an aircraft flying overhead. Imagine looking to the sky when you hear it and realizing that it’s your neighbor’s go-kart instead.
YouTuber Matt Mikka of Warped Perception is behind that incongruence; he strapped a jet engine to his go-kart, gassed it up with jet fuel, and sent it spinning through a parking lot. Last year, Mikka build a turbo diesel kart with a single-cylinder Kohler diesel engine and apparently, that was not bizarre enough.
Mikka removed the diesel engine from the kart and removed the chain from the axle to remove any rolling resistance. That also had the extra benefit of allowing the kart to stop on a dime.
“When you brake, it’s 100 percent brake,” he says. “There’s no momentum from a chain or anything.”
He fabricated a mount for the turbine and welded an entire support structure on the kart, designing the base plate and other components first digitally.
The host says he used about two gallons of milky-white hydro jet-A, which is 80 percent jet fuel and 20 percent water. Incidentally, jet fuel for commercial jets needs to be free of water contamination because the temperature of the fuel in-flight decreases as it reaches the upper atmosphere. The water separates and can supercool below freezing, blocking the fuel inlet pipes. Thus, they typically use fuel heaters. Go-karts stay on the ground, so that’s not an issue.
Mikka set up the fuel injection to thread the liquid through a skinny tube like an IV line, giving life to the turbine and setting it aflame. He says it gets about 70 pounds of thrust and the kart itself is only about 45 pounds in the back.
He didn’t reveal the top speed, saving that for a future episode. Next thing you know, he'll be bolting wings on it.
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