The Accidental Pocket Jet Engine...


Introduction: The Accidental Pocket Jet Engine...

About: A Northern Ireland based maker with a propensity to cause trouble and freshly constructed family.
Yep, that's right a baby jet engine, it takes in air and uses fuel to heat and therefore expand the air, this particular engine is more a functioning model, it produces little thrust in real terms, it is however a lot of fun and makes one interesting ornament, albeit a dangerous one.

Continue on and see, by the way here's a video to go with it.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

*File (possibly avoided)
*A lighter

*A metal pen barrel
*The cap of a bic pen
*Some wire (I used bare steel wire)
*A jet lighter nozzle (If you don't have one I'll soon have an instructable showing you how to make one)
*A lighter reservoir (I used one off another jet lighter that had three nozzles, converted it to one for power)

Step 2: Explanations and Safety

Ok you are dealing with fire and gas here, so at this point I would like to explain that I take no responsibilty for injury or damage caused by the items shown in this instructable, also if you're under 13 I suggest not doing this at all, just because you're under thirteen, fire may cause rash judgements in males under 50 and females under 16.

Well how this happened... I was making a simple bunsen burner for the pocket instructables and as far as I can tell the new design I came up with affords too much slowing of the air/gas mixture, combined with the fact that the upper casing becomes hot, this meant that the flame reached a critical point and suddenly receded inside and turned in to a jet engine, by putting a tiny nozzle on the end after this may be able to create some thrust.

Again, I accidentally made a jet engine out of a pen.

Step 3: The Setup.

This is dead simple.

basically you have gas and air coming in one end, being burnt in the middle and hot gases coming out the other end...

So the nozzle goes on the bottom of the metal pen barrel, air holes outside the barrel, the pen lid is chopped up a tad and used to make a small sealing ring around the nozzle top, without that you'll only get a weak yellow flame because pressure can't build and also there's too much air to gas.

Step 4: Putting It Together.

So first thing you'll need is to make the nozzle fit tight in to the pen barrel, my way of doing this was simply to cut the end off of the bic pen lid and fit it over the barrel and shape it so that the air holes were open, very important. after fitting it to the nozzle you slide the nozzle assembly down the pen barrel and then grip the bottom part of the nozzle and pull and wiggle the nozzle down until the air holes are at least halfway clear of the barrel bottom.

Step 5: Stand It Up...

I used some wire and a bit of speaker mesh to create a decent collapsible stand for the rest of it, I then used some wire to hold the gas tank in place on the mesh aswell, after this I connected the nozzle up to the gas tank.

Step 6: It Lives!!!

So after pulling the little lever bit to start the gas flow I held a lit lighter to the end.

At first there was a nice flame out the end and after three seconds or so the was a small pop and the a strange wooshing noise, holy moses I made a jet engine out of a pen and lighter...

Step 7: Now It's Better

So after some more modifications and using a different nozzle I've managed to avoid plastic parts and give it more power, also with a video...

Second pic shows the engine in it's new shape, different stands.

Hopefully you'll be able to hear the engine in this video, it's hard to tell when you already know what it sounds like.

In the video it's running really hot and is burning the powder coat on the pen tube a bit, the actual barrel is made of brass so it's pretty safe.

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is this a really jet engine or just a decorative model? i want to make a practical one. but i think that's not work in this way.

6 replies

i agree with you

this model of jet engine don't event have fan or motor for air compressor

it look like it have a power

but it actually don't have the power

I would say this is more of a small rocket than a jet.

Actually its the definition of a jet. A jet engine draws air in, compresses it, burns it, then sends hot exhaust gas out in the form of thrust

This one won't produce serious thrust, for the size and valveless pulse jets probably the best option, I have plans to build a jet engine with useful thrust but at the moment I'm working on some high voltage projects

hey man where did u make the air holes

If you got your fuel nozzle from an actual jet lighter, then the air holes are already made

Where do you make the air hole some one tell me

please help me with the nozzle i literally read all of the comments and wasn't able to find any help almost everything of it except the nozzle which connects the fuel(lighter body) to the combustion chamber(pen body)...if you just give a rough design of the nozzle including the air holes (on this and the previous version) will be really a lot helpful...I just wanted to build a small working model showing the working of pulse jet for a demonstration active session to my colleagues...
any help will be appreciated..!!
Thank you

Use electric sparks

i am makeing a me 163 rc plane so pls

pretty cool but slightly techo


Isn't it a blowtorch?


What is the jet nozzle made of I can't find a video of how to make it.

hey this is sweet and I want to build it but im not sure how if I can use a regular lighter or not and I don't know where to poke the holes.

hey this is sweet and I want to build it but im not sure how if I can use a regular lighter or not and I don't know where to poke the holes.

could you add fans or turbines to this