Introduction: Make a Pulse Jet Engine, (Scanned From 1958 Plans)

Picture of Make a Pulse Jet Engine, (Scanned From 1958 Plans)
 Making A Pulse Jet Engine
 It powers a scale model MiG 15 fighter at 85mph. This is a powerful jet unit and one which can be made by anyone with access to lathe and welding facilities.
Emil Brauner of Kladno in Czechoslovkia is a model maker who was forced by circumstance to make his own jet engine.

: Message from Karroo Oakey

WARNING  : This a Scan-Able and not an Instructable:

(I’ve had this book for about 25 years (published 1958) hoping for a lathe or access to one. Nada. I had already planned to scan this and put it on Instructables for somebodies benifit, when I stumbled on the “Make your own metal lathe” on Instructables. That mindblowing experience now has led me to the whole gammet of all the Gingery books so that now I am collecting aluminum like crazy. Since this book was published 10 years before I born I really don’t think that there can be anybody left who really cares about the copyrights anymore that is if they have not expired. Also I have not found any other plans for Pulse Jet Engines anywhere, so like any good reporter, reporting bad smut, I too will shout the legend from the rooftops --- THE PUBLIC HAS A RIGHT TO KNOW! ) If somebody does object I guess I'll have to pull it.

Scan cont :

First, how it works:  Petrol or White Spirit (cigarette lighter fuel) is induced to spray through a metering jet by a fast airflow into the nose cone.  The fuel/air mixture passes through flap valves and into the combustion chamber, where it is ignited.   Immediately after combustion  the  burning  gases  pass through the only exit, the tail pipe, and the resultant reaction provides thrust.    As this column of burnt air escapes, a depression occurs in the combustion chamber, and the flap valves which were closed under compression are now opened and a further supply of fuel/air drawn in.

So the cycle repeats itself in a series of pulses, each. one igniting itself with the heat of the tail pipe which rapidly achieves the state of red heat, as the frequency of explosions is in the region  of 200-300 cycles per second.


Because of the fire risk, and the possibility of personal danger, pulse jets are neither to be advised for free-flying  nor  are  they  tolerated for such a purpose in Great Britain. They are, however, insurable under a special scheme by the S.M.A.E. for control-line flying and a class exists for Jet Speed, usually flown at the National contests.   Current record is 133.3 m.p.h.


Making theJet

All dimensions on the drawing are  in  millimetres,  and  for  the convenience of British constructors we provide a table of required equivalents.   Start with part 1. a brass turning which serves as an adapter for the compressed air or car tyre pump air supply during starting.  It is brazed at 37° to part 3, the carburettor, which is another brass turning tapped to receive the pilot jet and threaded at the rear end to fit part 6. The pilot jet, part 2, has a I mm. orifice.  It is advisable to make a set with .9 mm. and .95  mm.  alternative  jet  sizes  to determine best diameter for performance.  Fuel flows directly from the tank to the pilot jet, thence into the carburettor; and out at 70° -80 ° through the two .8 mm. oblique holes.


The head — or cone, part 4, is a light metal turning threaded at the rear to fit the collar in the combustion chamber.  Care to adhere to the aerodynamic curve, and external relieving to give a wall thickness of 2 mm., will improve performance and save weight.  Note that a 3 mm. recess is needed to take part 6 at a later stage.  Part 5 is  a  simple  light  alloy  fairing  to blend the carburettor to the valve plate, part 6, and this latter item is turned from the solid in mild steel. There are ten valve holes, each 9mm. diameter and tapering down to the centre for maximum opening. The valve itself, part 7, is the heart of the jet, and as such is a most critical component.  .15 mm. spring steel sheet was used in the original jet; while an alternative, cold drawn sheet, is easier to stamp out and will last for up to 30 starts.  Mass production by means of a steel die and hard rubber blanking plate would be one answer to the valve replacement problem.  To limit the opening of the valve, part 8 is a backing plate from dural, and here again it is advisable to make alternatives with different curvature to test   for   optimum   performance. Part 9 is merely a standard metric thread  bolt  to  hold  the  valve assembly together. Part 6 is peened in place in the head, see detail at 12, and a light alloy nose fairing, 10, riveted as a cone before being "clicked" in place between shoulders.   All that remains is the tail pipe, of welded heat-resisting  or   stainless   steel, thickness  is  not  critical  between .015 in. and .025 in. made up in three stages to the dimensions in 11.  Weld a steel collar in the combustion chamber, and thread to suit the head.


 Now mount the unit by means of metal collars to a stout board and prepare for first tests. With fuel in the tank, and a car pump connected to the adapter, part I, start pumping with alternate long and short strokes, checking that fuel is drawn through to the carburettor. This done, use the Continental method of ignition by playing a blow-lamp across the jet orifice (not on the tail pipe) and providing  a  fuel/air  mixture  is passing through into the combustion  chamber,  a  start  is  soon effected. 

There is no such thing as a "misfire" in a pulse jet, either it is going or it is stopped.  If the jet appears to show no inclination to keep going, then one should try variations with (a) the pilot jet and (b) valve backing plate. A low tone indicates a rich mixture and a high note, or short, barking tone, a weak mixture.  Hot weather calls for a larger pilot jet. Extreme cold a small jet Having made your own unit, you will soon appreciate these symptoms and their cures.



Scanned from Model Aero Engine Encyclopedia 1959, 208 pages compiled by R.G.Moulton, published by Model aeronautical Press LTD. 38 Clarendon Road Watford, Herts Published by Bletchley Printers limited, Bletchley, Bucks. 1st edition March 1958, Reprinted January 1959.)


Step 1: Schematic Overview

Picture of Schematic Overview

Step 2: Jet Details Overview

Picture of Jet Details Overview

Step 3: Part 1

Picture of Part 1

Step 4: Part 2

Picture of Part 2

Step 5: Part 3

Picture of Part 3

Step 6: Part 4

Picture of Part 4

Step 7: Valve Details Overview

Picture of Valve Details Overview

Step 8: Part 5

Picture of Part 5

Step 9: Part 6

Picture of Part 6

Step 10: Part 7

Picture of Part 7

Step 11: Part 8 & 9

Picture of Part 8 & 9

Step 12: Part 10

Picture of Part 10

Step 13: Part 11 : Tail Pipe

Picture of Part 11 : Tail Pipe

Step 14: Nose Cone Assembly

Picture of Nose Cone Assembly

Step 15: Nose Cone Assembly & Tail Pipe

Picture of Nose Cone Assembly & Tail Pipe

Step 16: Photo of All Parts

Picture of Photo of All Parts

Step 17: Photo of All Parts Assembled

Picture of Photo of All Parts Assembled


hectmarr (author)2016-09-14

This jet pulse is excellent.

blackholeseeker (author)2015-03-31

The Fighter in the from page pic is a V-1 doodlebug from WWII! it does use a pulse jet engine though.. but a MiG looks like this,

razor7177 (author)2011-07-15

so wat does it run on and wat can u fix it to ....could u name afew?

wprejs (author)razor71772011-07-22

The beauty of these things is that it can run on anything that can burn, and you can attach it to a rc plane, go kart anything really.

rickharris (author)wprejs2012-09-10

Coal wood charcoal? - Generally liquid or gas fuels.

razor7177 (author)wprejs2011-07-22

could u tell any other part(s) that r needed 4 this project....?

rickharris (author)razor71772012-09-07

Kerosene normally but gasoline or propane work as well.

alien2107 (author)2010-09-20

how does this valve work srry im a new to this lol

Wazzupdoc (author)alien21072011-02-21

It's a reed valve, similar to the ones used to carburate 2 stroke engines, The explosion closes the valve and directs the energy into moving the piston. The ram jet is essentially a 1-stroke engine. Like a 2-stroke, careful tuning of the exhaust will cause a reflected negative wave from the outlet which will "pull" the valves open again and suck in more fuel and air. If there is residual flame from the previous ignition (and there would be if tuned) the fuel ignites and the process starts again. It's an elegant machine. I built part of a prototype very similar to this one. Set my back yard on fire. My valves weren't spring steel and failed. Good to see this project here.

rickharris (author)Wazzupdoc2012-09-07

In the case of a ram jet there is no piston the burning fuel is ejected from the rear of the jet providing thrust.

The forwards movement through the air forces more air and fuel into the tube.

a good place to start.

Wazzupdoc (author)rickharris2012-09-07

That is what I said in my post. The absent piston yields a "one stroke" which actually has no "stroke" but it does cycle. Tuning the system is key. If you explore the V1 (buzz bomb) that the Nazis launched in WWII against England, you'll see the physics (they used shutter valves).

rickharris (author)Wazzupdoc2012-09-10

Just clarifying :-)

pastaking (author)2011-07-31

Suggestion: Replace the spring steel reed valve that is easily damaged  with full mechanical valve: 
        | 3 |
    __|_|__  1
___    5   ___  4
|                      |
|          6          |
|                      |

1 is the valve body this is a circular  piece of  2mm steel
2 is the shaft. This runs up and down in a brass tube, 3
4 is the valve plate that the valve slaps against
5 is the valve hole where the air goes in
6 is the combustion chamber.

It's just an idea, but I reckon it might work.

rickharris (author)pastaking2012-09-07

The frequency of operation is very high and the spring valve has no moving parts other than itself - This makes it lighter and better than a complex mechanical solution.

Wazzupdoc (author)rickharris2012-09-07

A valve such as shown by "pastaking " would disintegrate (love the word!) in short order.

akatsuki666 (author)2010-02-19

im not good at reading this stuff...but what is the pedal valve controlling exacly?the air looks like its going in thro the tiny tube in the middle...but im prob wrong. so if sum1 can correct me on the while nose and valve system thatll be really great

rickharris (author)akatsuki6662012-09-07

These are generally called Pulse engines there is a lot of information if you search.

The picture below shows the general construction.

akatsuki666 (author)2010-02-20

it took me awile to find a answer because there are barly aticals on it but i found 1 and i understand how the valve system works. thanks for making the diagram because i didnt know what i was going to do about backfire and then i found this.
thanks agin =)

rickharris (author)akatsuki6662012-09-07,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=d8cc07961abcb992&biw=1920&bih=919

Karroo Oakey (author)akatsuki6662010-09-21

I would really appreciate it if you would post your question and answer so that visitors to this page would have a better idea of the finer points.

Karroo Oakey (author)akatsuki6662010-03-16

Sorry not replying, been a tad busy. I am afraid I don't know the answer to your questions. When my lathe is done I'll build this sucker, figure out how it's supposed to work and add that to the instructable. If you are able to build a little of it, let me know please.

crumblingcube 50 (author)2012-08-06

can you use it to fly a prototype plane with it

No reason why not this was done with control line planes back in the 50's

Try You tube.

FrozenIce (author)2012-01-27

when i was younger, i went to an aircraft museum in france, and im pretty sure i saw this on display :) haha atleast i think so because a poster that has every single aircraft in the museum has a side view of something that looks just like this! and now, thanks to u, i can make my own!!

SecondSun (author)2011-12-17

Thanks for scanning, will name my first engine Karroo

r570sv (author)2010-09-06

When I was in college there was one of the originals of these in the science lab. I had the opportunity to get it running as a science project - becasue I was one of the only guys in class that knew what it was - but passed on the project. I hadn't even thought about it until I saw your write up! Thanks!

akatsuki666 (author)2010-02-19

correct me if im wrong but i reread the intro and it seems that the pipe going thro the center is only for starting but u use the petal valve and the vintre or whatever its called to increse the pressure during flight...if im wrong please correct me..
thanks agin

fishhead455 (author)2009-12-04

Perhaps, if you like these engines, you may want to visit these sites: (If you fly these with your local RC club the neighbors will complain as they are loud). ...(My favorite).


Karroo Oakey (author)fishhead4552009-12-04

Thanks, have you seen one operating?

omnibot (author)2009-12-03

I think you've done a great job. This is truly a unique article that deserves to be passed around. As for this not beeing a "true" instructable .. with all the K'Nex, demos, destructables and whatnot's out there I'd say this one is as good as any .. better in most cases.

Karroo Oakey (author)omnibot2009-12-04

Thanks, I spent a surprising amount of time scanning and rescanning to get it perfect. My only 'me' time is from 4-6am so it was quite an effort. I appreciate your feedback enormously.

lemonie (author)2009-12-03

If you didn't make it - Forum Topic
Instructables are exclusively for our own work.


Karroo Oakey (author)lemonie2009-12-03

Thank you Lemonie for your tireless efforts - to be perfectly honest I'm not even really sure where it virtually is now. I would appreciate a word as to where to move it too so that it is still accessible.

lemonie (author)Karroo Oakey2009-12-03

I can't find it (yet)


About This Instructable




Bio: Yep, That's me in the photo. I'm done with hiding.
More by Karroo Oakey:Labyrinth : How to layout & pack a Classic Cretan 3 levelBale Feeders for stock - Cheap & QuickMake a Pulse jet engine, (Scanned from 1958 plans)
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