Pssst ... you wanna buy a jet-powered go-kart?
By Ben Coxworth
June 15, 2012
Seth Kettleman is no stranger to high-powered vehicles. The surplus aircraft parts dealer provided the Boeing engine and technical support for the building of a jet-powered Batmobile replica, and more recently attempted to sell his own similarly-outfitted Datsun 280ZX on eBay. Now, you have the chance to buy another one of his monstrosities – a custom-built jet-powered go-kart.
The little vehicle can reportedly reach speeds well over 100mph (161 km/h), propelled by over 200 pounds (91 kg) of thrust from a reclaimed Boeing 502-7 gas turbine engine. The Batmobile and 280ZX, by contrast, were turboshaft-driven – this means that their jet engines didn’t move them by sheer thrust, but were instead used to turn their driveshafts.
“The kart’s performance is absolutely amazing,” Seth told us. “It's so light and when that Boeing breaths, it takes your breath away ... The low ground clearance and center of gravity makes it one with the road. The seating position and butterfly steering wheel start to make you think that you are piloting a fighter jet.”
Kettleman is currently working on a new exhaust nozzle that he claims should further increase the top speed, and has offered to build an afterburner for the new owner – mostly just for the flames and smoke it would produce. Some of the kart’s existing features include spun aluminum fuel cells, a digital speedometer, a new N1 gas producer tachometer (which indicates turbine RPMs), and an auxiliary start kit.
“The kart build was humbling and brought me back to what its all about, having fun,” he said. “I also wanted to prove that I could do it, and add it to the portfolio.”
Unfortunately, Seth currently has no videos posted of the kart in action, but may add some if his current eBay listing doesn’t attract enough attention. At the time of this posting, bidding has reached US$6,200.