My brother and I both have a great interest in welding and fun dangerous stuff. So a few years ago when we got our first welder and we were just learning to weld, we thought it would be a fun and simple first project to make a small model sized pulse jet engine. That was simple and fun. We then thought what could we do next that would be something like this? Of course we thought bigger is better, especially if its remote controlled and thats what lead us to creating the Pulse Jet powered Ice Racer! Here is the final video of it running!
What is a pulse jet? Well, it is the easiest type of engine that you can make in just a matter of hours and they have no moving parts (the valveless type). They are extremely loud (140+ db) and glow red hot and can run on any type of fuel. Here is a link to a wiki page explaining more about them better than I can. Also, this is the design of the engine we used.
If your going to do this make sure you do it during the day and on a larger lake not in a city because these things are really fricken loud. Running pulse jets at night pisses off the neighbors as you can hear it from miles away...
Let me know if I should clear up some of the steps as it may be just a little confusing.
Here are my answers for the Make to Learn Youth Contest - Most answers regarding how to make it are already throughout the instructable
What did I make?: I made a remote control ice racer that uses a pulse jet to produce the thrust to move and remote control parts from an old RC car. I have a link above as to how a pulse jet works but basically if you have the correct dimensions it will stay lit and continue on its cycle, thus the name pulse jet as it has continuous explosions that create a distinct buzzing sound. The main tool that I used was a MIG welder to weld together the metal frame and pulse jet. I have been welding since I was 13 and I am currently 15.
How did I make it?: My brother and I got the idea from a project we did 5 or more years ago. That project was also an RC ice racer but much smaller and used a motor and propeller from an old plane. A few years ago when we got the welder and were thinking of project we decided to make pulse jets since they were simple enough. That then lead to bigger pulse jets, which then this year led to us making something that actually moves out of one. My brother and I worked on this project for 3 days. At the start we had a rough idea as to what we were going to do but most of our ideas changed as we progressed. Mostly just the design of the frame changed. The front steering was mostly just guess and check.
Where did you make it?: We made it in our garage workshop at home and took it to a near by lake to test it out. It connected with other activities in our lives because we had made the pulse jet a few months before so we finally put it to good use!
What did I learn?: The biggest challenge we faced was setting up the steering and servo. That just took some time and finess to get into the right spot and to make sure it all lined up. I am immensely proud of how the whole thing turned out! We weren't expecting much, but it was above and beyond what we expected. Plus, I am proud of how well this instructable did! If I did it again I think I would change the placement of the tank to the front area and have it sit upright and change the design of the frame and make it narrower to save excess weight. Also, if I had a lot of time, I would make a big pulse jet because the bigger the better! (and faster)