Picture of Pulse Jet Powered RC Ice Racer!
Normal remote control cars, planes, boats and RC whatever are boring. This Instructable is on how to make a pulse jet powered ice racer! This is a very unique loud and dangerous RC vehicle that you could build in about one day with the right materials and tools and a little experience with pulse jets.

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)
Frodo107028 days ago

When will you post how to build the pulse jet engine

Aditya M1 year ago


berrymartin2 years ago
Great Job, you project is really amazing. I really like that and i have also learned something new here,Its a nice idea and this step by step instructions on how to combine the various parts of are very useful for people interested in pulse Jet powered rc ice racer.......

Rowanwood2 years ago
If you could get your hands on a forklift propane tank it would be optimal. They are a bit longer, a bit narrower and made to run in a horizontal position.
Evan2010 (author)  Rowanwood2 years ago
but how heavy are they?
33 lb.
Foxtrot702 years ago
Great project! For summer-time operation you might consider one of these 2 variations. First, fashion pontoons attached to the blades with bows made of sheet pvc to cut thru the water.. The second, attach floatation device to the frame then, attach hydro-foils inplace of the blades. Since this model has the potential of running like a scalded cat the hydro-foils should work with no problem and really race... FAST!. Great work!
adam2582 years ago
it's such a nice idea. I love to build this one like this.
Edgar2 years ago
Fun, as in MWAHAHAHAH Fun! :D
Went to my Blog:
rf2 years ago
Has anyone ever made a pulse-jet with an effective muffler?
Evan2010 (author)  rf2 years ago
doubtful, but there are thrust augmenters that increase the thrust
Velkov2 years ago
Hi! This is a great idea! Please, add some details about the pulse jet construction. Thanks a lot!
Maxtrix2 years ago
can you put that jet on your snowboard?
vk2fro2 years ago
" Running pulse jets at night pisses off the neighbors as you can hear it from miles away..."

hehehehe dont we all love pissing off our neighbours!!

Once shot from my big capacitor bank will wake up the neighbourhood too; so I think I'll just read this instructable and imagine the sort of fun one could have with a pulsejet powered racer :) (yes I have had the cops visit when I "detonated" a poor hapless transistor with my cap bank - once is enough!) Peak energy output is around 3.9 kJ, and the report is like a gunshot.

I DO like this project however - fun, LOTS of noise and a bit crazy (mabye you can lower the centre of gravity by putting the propane tank below the engine; or do the same but use the smaller camp stove propane bottles).
DoxxRoxx2 years ago
" Running pulse jets at night pisses off the neighbors as you can hear it from miles away..."

Ha Ha Ha!   That sounds like the voice of experience!

Nice instructable! Thanks for sharing.
Gelfling62 years ago
Nice! Any videos of it in action?
Evan2010 (author)  Gelfling62 years ago
There should be a link to a video on the first step
CorryWan2 years ago
I wonder if placing a glass-pack type muffler at the business end of the jet would quiet it down while still allowing sufficient thrust to exit. Glass packs are free-flow and only absorb sound resonating through them.

Great Instructable, BTW.
mkiiicruise2 years ago
This is the best content I've seen on the internet in years. Awesome!
spizzak2 years ago
Was the thrust remote-controllable as well or just the steering? Also, how did you find that servo was coping with steering the whole rig? I'd imagine it would be quite under powered considering the weight of the sled, and I can't see the plastic gears holding up very long.

Very cool project btw!
Nice one!
You sirs, are completely insane.
Well done ;-)
Welcome to the club.

I thought skates were of a high carbon steel, so welding them may encourage cracking.
That is awesome. You, sir, are the Wernher von Braun of winter sports.
Whoah, this is my type of instructable!
lemmin2 years ago
Does the location of the tank make it turn left at all?
Evan2010 (author)  lemmin2 years ago
No not at all
canida2 years ago
This looks amazing, and ridiculously fun. :)
randofo2 years ago
This is incredibly awesome. You should embed your videos so they play in the introduction.
temper2 years ago
Very interesting instructable, quite clear - a little more info on the construction of the motor would be good. Other than that just a couple of spelling errors - it's "you're" (or you are) not "your", and "losing" not "loosing".

BTW I have, or can get, all the materials except the ice. I'll have to change the skates to wheels I think ;-)

Well done.
Evan2010 (author)  temper2 years ago
Next time I make a pulse jet I'll make an instructable for it. That wont be for a few more weeks though, I'm thinking of a 60 pound thrust version.
That is awesome!!!!
steve-lane2 years ago
I would suggest for your next project build a ramjet sled.
This is just silly awesome... Featured!

Ice, jet engine, remote control....