Mad dogs and Englishmen – with pulse jets!

I’m sure many readers have read about the German V-1 flying bomb, the so-called ‘doodle-bug’ pilotless bomb of World War II.

It was powered by a pulse jet engine, with its distinctive on-off pulsation sound.  It was so successful that the USA copied it, producing the JB-2 Loon.  (You can see a 1945 film report about the latter here.)

Now an English inventor has built a pulse jet engine from scratch, and tested it in various ways – including powering a bicycle!  I wasn’t sure whether to title this post as I did, or make it one of my ‘Doofus Of The Day’ series due to his suicidal courage in actually riding the thing!  Decide for yourself.  Here are four videos, covering respectively the making of, initial testing of, further testing of, and bicycle version of the pulse jet.

The inventor, Colin Furze, has his own Web site where you can read more about his projects. “Mad dogs and Englishmen“, indeed!



  1. Meanwhile, in other news, several local elderly pensioners were admitted to area hospitals after suffering flash-back related heart issues…

  2. I've seen pictures of a pulse jet powered shopping cart with a guy riding in it. Definitely a Darwin Award wannabe.

  3. I read a good (fiction) book about the V-1 buzz bombs back in the 1980's

    It's titled: "The 81st Site" and was written by Tony Kenrick.

    It's available at amazon and other used book sites an is a fun read.

    Briefly it's about:

    By the end of World War II, the Nazies had built eighty one brilliantly concealed missle sites from which to launch V1-bombs against London.

    Eighty sites were discovered and destroyed.

    Now, more than thirty years after the Fuehrer's defeat, the one surviving site is being triggered for action by a team of Hitlers most fervent supporters — men who refuse to admit defeat.

    This time they need just one V1-bomb — for this time they have an atomic warhead. And this time they will win.

    (Of course there's an American hero who saves the Brit's bacon once again).

  4. When running stationary, the u-bend portion of the engine quickly becomes red-orange hot. Placing the propane fuel tank in the u-bend strikes me as a possible design flaw. Also running the engine tubes on either side of a rubber tire that probably won't work well much above 200 F.

    Have the cameraman use a long lens and keep well back from the test.

  5. My Dad was a Balsa flying model enthusiast -free flight,and U-Control line-[…"the Original Fly-By-Wire"…] Growing up in the 1960s&'70s i'd look through his collections of post WW2 [he was a Vet of same] and 1950s Model Aviation & such magazines-and all advertised small pulse jet engines you could mail order to make your balsa plane 'jet powered'.He too commented on the heat vs Balsa build issues. I'd guess it would be interesting to an R/C Buzz-drone- from- home idea.Or not.

  6. I really don't know what to say, çept for the following.
    This bloke, and his team are NUTS, insane, ridiculous, out of the box, and so-on.
    NASA should sign them up IMMEDIATELY!.
    They have a 'what is, but…, what if…ïn their psyche.

  7. Hi ya'll!!,
    Google search "Dynajet pulse jet" and "Hootiehoo!!" Back when ya' could get a Dynajet "red head" mail order out of any model airplane magazine for $35 + postage!! The engine was advertized as being able to generate 4.5 lb. of thrust!! They're still around!!
    Lets go Flyin'!!


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *