2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Twin-turbine street luge to attempt 300 mph record run

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November 19, 2013

Fellows hopes to break the existing record of 115.8 mph (186.4 km/h) set by Jason Bradbury...

Fellows hopes to break the existing record of 115.8 mph (186.4 km/h) set by Jason Bradbury of the UK in 2011 (Photo: Daz Fellows)

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Australian Daz Fellows wants to ensure proper nomenclature is used when describing his modified street luge. Sporting twin-turbines with a combined output of 537 lb of thrust, and a custom formed board composed of carbon fiber, Daz has made clear that the conveyance he'll be climbing aboard when he shoots for a world record attempt of 300 mph (482 km/h) next year is a "jet luge."

In 1996, Daz "the Cowboy" Fellows became a founding member of Australia’s street luge circuit. In 2007, when the first powered luge record was set, he became obsessed with the notion of becoming the fastest street luger in the world. The current street luge record is 115.8 mph (186.4 km/h), and was set back in 2011 by Jason Bradbury of the UK. Fellows hopes to not only break the existing record, but exceed it by more than double.

Fellows' first jet luge had to undergo some modifications and updates to meet the strict rules of the Guinness World Records. Mounted just behind his head at the back of the board, and running on Jet A-1 fuel, each of the two small military grade turbine engines is capable of generating 202 lb (91.6 kg) of maximum thrust for five minutes, with a continuous thrust rating of 176 lb (80 kg).

According to Fellows, with afterburners running full burn, an increase of approximately 38 percent is available to the turbines for a short period. This power increase equates out to roughly 537 lb of thrust when the afterburner gods are called upon.

The small-but-mighty turbine engines add only marginal weight gains to the board. Each engine weighs only 29 lb (13 kg), has a rev limitation of 72,000 rpm and a fuel consumption rate of 3 liters/minute under continuous thrust. With afterburners engaged, the turbines use up 4.5 liters/minute giving Fellows enough fuel in the 22 liter tank to get the job done in around five minutes.

The board itself is an exercise in unproven aerodynamic theory. The nose on it looks part stealth fighter or exaggerated skateboard, but on profile the design is all about fast and low. The highest point on the board will be the formed carbon fiber area surrounding the turbines and the trailing fin integrated into the board behind Fellows’ helmet. Weight specs for the board, including engines and carbon fiber fuel cell, is only 72.7 lb (33 kg). No word on what dietary regimen Fellows will be adhering to prior to the attempt in order to keep overall weight at a minimum.

Running only 8-10 mm (0.39 in) off the road, it will be important for the course to be absolutely debris free. In order to fit Fellows’ frame and the twin turbines, the board needed to be long. From tip to tail the board comes in at just under 3 m (9.8 ft) which should give some good straight line stability. Across the waist the luge measures 598 mm (23.5 in), making it significantly wider than a traditional board.

The luge will run a 12-wheel configuration using performance wheels and bearings from the world of snowmobile racing. Fellows notes that an 83 mm (3.3 in) wheel running at 124 mph (200 km/h) will see revolutions hit 12,780 rpm. At 250 mph (400 km/h) this means the tiny skateboard-inspired wheels will be spinning in excess of 25,000 rpm.

When it comes to controlling the board, "lean steer turning" will be the board’s sole directional tool. Acceleration and power modulations will be managed via either a thumb-controlled wheel or a trigger-style grip. The final selection will be made closer to the attempt date.

The afterburners, which have their own separate controls are either on or off, there is no modulation capability. The afterburners have their own fuel pumps, but feed off the main fuel tank. In the event that something should go wrong at top speed on this oversized skateboard, a kill switch is on standby to shut down the entire system.

Fellows is set to make his world record attempt between April and August next year, when temperatures are more optimal for turbine operations. No location for the run has been confirmed at this time.

You can see the first rolling test in the video below.

Source: Jet Luge

About the Author
Angus MacKenzie Born on the cold, barren Canadian plains of Calgary, Alberta, Angus MacKenzie couldn’t decide between marketing, automotives or an entrepreneurial path - so he chose all three. When not writing, Angus has for the past six years been Editor-in-Chief for elemente, an internationally recognized architecture/design magazine.   All articles by Angus MacKenzie
27 Comments

I think the phrase "kill switch" is particularly well-chosen here.

CaryKen
19th November, 2013 @ 09:36 am PST

Man some people are just desperate for a Darwin award.

Jon Smith
19th November, 2013 @ 11:29 am PST

What could possibly go wrong with that?

Dave Muckey
19th November, 2013 @ 12:12 pm PST

Forget the extra weight ... I would add [insurance mandate] a small pop-out (drag racer style) chute to lift the rider away in case of any mishap! The story does not mention any form of braking.

The Skud
19th November, 2013 @ 05:33 pm PST

I doubt that Mr Fellows will be suffering from constipation afterwards, that is when they have found all the pieces.

Mel Tisdale
20th November, 2013 @ 02:52 am PST

If it lifts off he'll tumble and that will be catastrophic. If it chucks him off he'll slide for some distance - better wear double leathers reinforced with composite sliders at the usual contact points if he doesn't want to endure months of excruciating pain while healing from deep road burn. Nothing like the thrill of seemingly endless acceleration from the micro-turbines (presume 100,000 RPM). How will he know when to shut down?

Mirmillion
20th November, 2013 @ 04:22 am PST

Not sure which is crazier: having two turbine jets so close to his head, or going up to 300mph so close to the ground on such small wheels. Turns would be practically impossible and the assfault/surface should be smooth and very level. Any undulations at this speed and his ass would be toast.

owlbeyou
20th November, 2013 @ 05:51 am PST

This brings a whole meaning to the phrase "Rocket Man"

bf_308
20th November, 2013 @ 06:21 am PST

lol, go for it man! just make sure the cameras are rolling and your life insurance premiums are paid up ..

Mandres
20th November, 2013 @ 08:20 am PST

This guy is apparently determined to be either spam or a wet red mess in a very long line, at least until the blood dries up. There will be absolutely no possibility of turning. At these speeds and with so little vehicle around him any attempt to turn will instantly result in lethal tumbling. Also he is not likely to remain either conscious or alive long enough to use a "Kill Switch".

StWils
20th November, 2013 @ 08:49 am PST

And I thought that French guy on the rocket propelled bicycle was nuts.

Gizzkid
20th November, 2013 @ 08:51 am PST

Lets see, I'm going to place my head between 2 jet motors (with afterburners), 10mm off the ground with no brakes or appreciable steering and go 300 mph, what could go wrong?

This is surely a joke or a very sad commentary on the state of humanity when someone wants notoriety this badly. At least at that speed none of his friends and family will be subjected to an open coffin ceremony.

ridgetopboy
20th November, 2013 @ 10:34 am PST

Anyone know who makes those engines and how much they are?

solutions4circuits
20th November, 2013 @ 11:14 am PST

He'd better hope there's a redneck Heaven. LOL

warren52nz
20th November, 2013 @ 02:04 pm PST

Military Grade Toy Turbines? The writer should be more careful. He should also show respect for this guy's last venture. All the comments point out the total ridiculousness of every aspect of this disaster. Gizmag shouldn't encourage anything this awful. Luckily he won't get much over a hundred before he balls up in a bloody mess. Goodbye.

DrMarty
20th November, 2013 @ 04:56 pm PST

This reminds me about the guy who bolted a solid fuel Rocket to the top of a car and decided to take it for a blast. I can't remember where I saw it but in the end they found (some) of his remains buried in a mountainside about 5 miles from the test site. I could't stop laughing for half an hour after reading it!!

bf_308
20th November, 2013 @ 09:25 pm PST

@ bf_308

The JATO car crash did not happen, but according to some reports the USAF did a inventory on their JATO tube stocks as a result of the story.

Slowburn
21st November, 2013 @ 06:30 am PST

Them there tires are rated for at least 600 mph, I think he needs to push it just a LITTLE bit further. and a body bag for a parachute, I think would be appropriate for this little widow-maker.

Jay Finke
21st November, 2013 @ 07:22 am PST

I have no desire to ride the thing but it doesn't look ludicrously dangerous.

Street luging in traffic is ludicrously dangerous.

@ DrMarty

Not everything the milatary flies has huge engines. I would like to know the make and model of the engines.

Slowburn
22nd November, 2013 @ 03:29 am PST

This is just sad. He will definitely die.

dalroth5
22nd November, 2013 @ 11:35 am PST

@ dalroth5

You will definitely die but will you have ever chased your dreams.

I don't see why people see so little chance of success unless it is that they have been brainwashed into thinking that is better to not try at anything not sanctioned by the government.

Slowburn
22nd November, 2013 @ 10:06 pm PST

+1 for he's gonna die comments :)

Szigyártó Mihály
23rd November, 2013 @ 01:10 pm PST

AWESOME!!

Best of Luck.

I am glad to see that the there are still some risk takers left

Gizmag, please keep us updated.

Captain Danger
25th November, 2013 @ 04:42 am PST

I REALLY believe he ought to go for 120mph first and

just break the record to start.

He doesn't need afterburners to do that.

The main cause of crashes in the SR-71

was "un-starting" of one of the 2 engines at speed.

Getting both afterburners to fire flawlessly and seamlessly at

full-power is trickier than it seems-

a minor difference in final power is likely to create a serious

problem with control.

They should experiment on a very wide track before trying it on something as narrow as a street-

even a 4-lane.

The old Rocket Gokarts went over 200mph in the Quarter Mile

decades ago before they were banned-

they used Velcro instead of seatbelts (

so they could get hopefully get free and not rumble with the wreck).

I have close-up detailed pictures of one of them:

"Free Country"-

and that kart had the H2O2 Rocket behind

the driver's head and the chassis was essentially no different

than a 5hp Briggs&Stratton gokart of that era.

PS

I still can't believe Slowburn actually came to their defense-

he usually criticizes everybody&everything!

Griffin
25th November, 2013 @ 10:26 am PST

There are those few among us who need large doses of adrenalin rushes in a spectacular way. Some do it by skydiving. Others do it in a much riskier way like by speed flying Mount Blanc on truncated paragliders and skis. Riding a jet powered luge at 300mph seems to be more of the latter category. At those speeds the margin for error is tiny.

I was talking to a physician who had been a Navy flight surgeon just after medical school. One of his duties was to inspect crash sites for flight crew remains after one of the Navy jets went down. He told me that if the impact occurred at a low speed (under 100 knots) the victims were pretty much intact. However, after a high speed impact (300 knots or greater) only tiny bits could be identified only if you had a knowledge of human anatomy.

Nostromo47
3rd December, 2013 @ 12:25 pm PST

He already has a tourniquet on his leg just in case.

Brad Wehde
7th July, 2014 @ 05:03 pm PDT

IS HE DEAD YET?

The Skud
22nd July, 2014 @ 08:59 pm PDT
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