Monday, July 27, 2009

Future Darwin Award Winner

I am about to pee myself with excitement. I have waited a long time for something as mind numbingly stupid as this. I have been tipped off to the exploits of one Robert Maddox of Medford Oregon. He apparently (no actually!) is manufacturing pulse jet propulsion systems in his garage and marketing them via E-bay for installation on bicycles. The objective is to propel oneself at upwards of 100 mph for 5 minutes or so generating lots of flame and an ear-splitting 150 decibles of sound. Check out the video:

As good as the hare-brained technology itself was the spin the Oregonian newspaper had on the story, interviewing the local Southern Oregon Business Development manager who pointed out that Mr. Maddox had given up on carpentry work due to the economic downturn and is now focused on selling these little beauties. The Oregonian stated: "While the pulse jet may not hold the key for economic development, jobs and payrolls, entrepreneurs like Maddox are critical the region's future, says Ron Fox, executive director of Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc. in Medford."

According to the Oregonian: "The pulse jet - which powered Hitler's V-1 bombers over England - runs on air and gasoline or just about anything flammable. It compresses the ingredients in a long tube, igniting them with a spark plug and forcing in air with a leaf blower or air compressor. Once it's running, the explosive flow of exhaust gases creates a vacuum in the tube, sucking fiery exhaust back inside and igniting fuel 220 times a second, with an enormous pulsing roar.

I can only hope that Mr. Maddox has one hell of a product liabililty policy to backstop his venture. I suspect however that he is not worried about such trifles. Unencumbered by fear, common sense, or any demonstrable thought process it is Mr. Maddoxes intention to take this technology to a whole new level. The Oregonian gones on to clarify: "Thinking further ahead, Maddox, a skydiver with over 1,000 jumps, has begun work on a four-pulse jet rocket with a capsule on top to carry a pilot. The 40-foot tall airship will weigh 2,500 pounds, generate 4,000 pounds of thrust, travel at 250 mph and, when it gets to 25,000 feet, allow the pilot to bail out and skydive down, while the rocket descends on parachutes."

It must be something in the water in Southern Oregon. "Two of Maddox's big nitro-methane powered, 1,000 horsepower pulse jets sit on the Top Gun Ground Fighter of Wally Larson of Jacksonville. It looks like an F-16 minus the wings and, while Larson, who uses it only for show, said he believes it could break the land speed record, but "I never wanted to kill myself." Back in the late 60's while attending High School in Central Point I assisted a friend in the creation of what we believed was the world's fastest Honda 50. My friend Jerry bored out the cylinder and adapted our little beauty to run on straight alcohol. It was doing somewhere in excess of 70 mph when the head completely shattered resulting in extremely rapid deceleration and rather nasty shrapnel wounds for the pilot.

We look forward to more on the exploits of the courageous Mr. Maddox.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.