Propulsion Engineer

I want to design new propulsion systems that don't need to use combustion, what should I major in, I was thinking of majoring  in Aerospace engineering and minoring in Electrical engineering. Any suggestions? p.s. the propulsion includes, but is not limited to: anti-gravity/warp-drives  (Which physics says is plausible)

Posted by monkhm 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Practicality of ion propulsion?

I've been trying to design a compact propulsion system and have considered ruling out liquid fuel chemical engines due to bulkiness (the fuels are surprisingly heavy, go figure). I've read about ion propulsion and its use in spacecraft because of its high efficiency, at least in a vacuum. However, in such cases the thrusters are rather large and provide a relatively small amount of thrust, usually less than one newton per tonne. Now I'm certainly no rocket scientist and know little about the efficiency of thrust, but to me that doesn't exactly seem remotely powerful, especially considering there are roughly 4.5 N to every pound. Anyway, regardless of the exact fundamentals involved, I have a limited amount of space here so I'll keep it brief. What I would like to know is if a small ion thruster could be made that can reasonably lift a ~40lb weight a few inches off the ground. I've seen compact ion thrusters built by amateurs, so I know they can be built in small sizes, but no clear demonstration of their power has been shown. I need to know if what I'm asking can be done, and if so, how. And please, for the love of all that is holy, I want serious answers only.

Asked by TibbyD 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


Mattress-mobile propulsion

So my friends and I have built a mattress cart. It's basically this: http://s.sears.com/is/image/Sears/07180002000 with the sides down and support bars with a mattress and a box spring on top... So my question is: We need a way of making it go i.e. a motor or pedals or something. It can be gas, man, or electrically powered. Does anyone have any ideas?

Posted by alecaim 8 years ago


DIY water jet engine?

Hello. Me and couple of my local DIY buddies are also big fans of fishing. Because we are all students and can't drop 1K+ on normal outboard motor for our tiny aluminum boat, we are thinking on making our own. What we have here is a 200cc lawnmower engine. Because we don't wanna get into business of making our own gears we are looking for ways to implement water jet system. The problem is we just can't figure out what is gonna do a good job of being our turbine. Any suggestions? Does anyone know if the intake half of automotive turbocharger is gonna for pumping water?

Posted by Kizzmansky 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Knex gun projectile propulsion ideas

So I'm looking for stuff beyond what has already been done. Pin guns are everywhere, slingshots are yet again pretty common, hammer guns have been made but don't have the same performance as the others, and then you have "rail"guns which have a shuttle that works similarly to a pin, but can have the track extended. We really need some new ideas here. I specifically do for my current gun as I have a wicked cool loading mech, but absolutely no propulsion mech and limited space to fit it in. Anyone have ideas that are completely different? If you suggest the following, because they have been done before, please try and make a mech that makes it more innovative still: deconstruction magazine multi band ratchet (multi shot slingshot: if anyone comes up with a magazine to replace of bands, kudos! Plz post dat ***!) a hammer gun that gets some f-ing range for once (we're talking 35-40+ ft without needing glued parts) Some ideas I've come up with that I haven't seen (and haven't made either...) are: enclosed trebuchet (probably spelt wrong, but google wanted me to say "Bucharest" so I'm just going to leave it as is) (an arm picks up a round at the back of it's arc, then comes forward like a hammer but doesn't rely on impact for round firing but acceleration instead) newton's compound cradle: a pin comes forward and hits a shuttle out of a catch, with that shuttle being pulled forward by bands so you have the impact acceleration, then even more from the other bands switchback: a pin comes towards the user, hits the bottom of a lever (hammer) which comes forward and hits the round If you come up with others, or mechs for these, please comment with your idea! Thanks, and let the innovation continue :)

Posted by Dreamwave 3 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


Need some input on boat propulsion

Can someone help me out with some ballpark calculation of propulsion power needed to move a boat? I do have some specific questions: 1. Propeller vs. Jet: Which one will deliver more propulsion given the same amount of power. 2. If it is typical electrical trolling motor type propeller, is there some simple formula to represent relationship of boat speed, power needed (hp), propeller rotation speed, and diameter of the propeller? 3. If it is a jet: Is there a simple formula to represent relationship of boat speed, power needed (hp), boat speed, and GPF of water to move the boat. I know that I am missing a few variables here like boat's weight and its water displacement.  I am trying to keep it simple. Any thoughts and input will be highly appreciated. Thanks.

Posted by kabira 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Can a magnetic propulsion system be achieved

Earnshaw's theorem states that a collection of point charges cannot be maintained in a stable stationary equilibrium configuration solely by the electrostatic interaction of the charges. This was first proven by British mathematician Samuel Earnshaw in 1842. It is usually referenced to magnetic fields, but originally applied to electrostatic fields. It applies to the classical inverse-square law forces (electric and gravitational) and also to the magnetic forces of permanent magnets and paramagnetic materials or any combination, (but not diamagnetic materials). Earnshaw's theorem has no exceptions for unmoving permanent ferro-magnets. However, moving ferromagnets, certain electromagnetic systems, pseudo-levitation and diamagnetic materials are areas to which Earnshaw's theorem doesn't apply and thus can seem to be exceptions, though in fact these exploit the constraints of the theorem.  Can we develop a safer cleaner transportation method that involves electro magnets that can propel cars using the city's grid to adjust the power on the street or road to move cars. similar to  famous movies vehicles like STAR WARS(c) Repulsor Lift(c) technology or The MATRIX(c) Ships OSIRIS?

Posted by daswokster 7 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


What is the difference between a hovercraft lift fan and a hovercraft propulsion fan? Answered

 I'm researching to build a hovercraft, and I am not sure what the difference is between a propulsion fan and lift fan.  I can find a hovercraft propulsion fan that requires 19 hp, but an engine like that is too expensive. The hovercraft lift fan only requires 11.9 hp, and I can afford an engine like that. So I was wondering if I could just use the lift fan as a propulsion fan, if I ever decide to build a hovercraft. I understand the difference in the fans' functions, but what is the difference in the fan itself? is it a different size, pitch or shape? ...All I really want to know is if I could replace the 'propulsion fan' with the 'lift fan'

Asked by frankenboom 9 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


What is the easiest to build form of human powered propulsion for a cardboard boat(must be made of cardboard)?

Me and a group of people are working on a cardboard boat and the propulsion has to be made mostly of cardboard.  We want to use something better than paddles.  I have been looking around to try and find something that can be adapted out of cardboard and have only found a couple of methods of propulsion. 1. paddle wheel 2. normal propeller 3. impeller 4. hydrofoil wing Anything else that might work that is not in this list would be awesome.  Remember, this is human powered so the RPMs will be low.

Asked by critterfluffy 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Are 12 gram co2 cartridges a viable power source for small rockets?

Would it be practically possible to use 12 gram CO2 cartridges like those used for bb guns to power small rockets? I have high hopes for this, but I don't know how well it would work. I am going to go do some ill-advised tests, but I would like to know if anyone has tried it and what I can expect.

Asked by ilpug 6 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


Surface tension propels tiny boat without sails or moving parts

From the New Scientist:WATCHING Sung Kwon Cho's model boat glide silently across the still water with no propellers or sails, you'd be forgiven for thinking a phantom hand was drawing the vessel forward. The boat is actually being driven by water surface tension, the same force that allows some insects to skate across the surface of a pond.The design is inspired by Pyrrhalta beetle larvae, which also use surface tension to propel themselves. Since it requires no moving parts, the method should be more robust than those involving propellers and may use just a hundredth of the power.Another story on the NetworkWorld site (with a few skeptical comments.)Doesn't look too difficult to replicate, does it?

Posted by gmoon 10 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Tin Can Turbine Engine

Hello!               Let me give you some insight into this project (Tin Can Turbine). I'm going to school to get an Airframe and Power Plant Cert. (Aircraft Mechanic). I stumbled across this idea on YouTube one day in class and it really got my gears turning. It's purely for fun, and I'm not even sure if I have the technical skills to get it to work.             First of all the way a turbine engine works in layman's terms is Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow. The fan section sucks air in from the atmosphere, Where it is moved to a compressor section which squeezes the air into a tighter pocket of air; which makes the air hotter and more explosive. When the compressed air is pushed into the combustion chamber, it is more volatile than normal air due to the compression. When you add a fuel (jet fuel, gasoline, propane, kerosene etc...) it will ignite with the compressed air (given that there is a spark to get the fuel vapors to ignite). When the fuel/air mixture is lit the fire will continue to burn without an ignition source due to the explosive nature of the compressed air. And the gas (burnt fuel/air) is pushed out the exhaust. There are blades in the rear of the engine called turbine blades, which are connected to the front of the fan/compressor section, in some cases there are two or three turbine blades, which drive the fan, compressor sections independently. Due to the turbine blades being pushed by the exiting gasses, the engine becomes self sustaining. And through black magic, you have a jet engine!!!              I'm going to attempt to construct a jet engine (not a motor!) out of a "tin can". I'm really not going to use a tin can, I'm actually going to use .032" thick 3" wide, and about 6" long exhaust piping made out galvanized steel. It's a lot thicker than a typical soup can, thus willing to stand up to more heat. My proposed fuel source will be propane, because it's cheap, and the I'm sure that I'm capable of controling the amount of fuel going into the engine. I'm not sure yet how many fan blades vs. turbine blades that I'm going to use. Right now I'm in the experiment phase. My blades are going to be made out steel can tops, because there is very little cutting involved, beside the actual cutting and angling the blades. and they fit perfectly into the pipe. As for the fuel delivery i'm going to use a copper pipe that is approx .042 thick and hallow. I'm going to cap the end, and wrap it around the inside of can. There will be eight holes drilled into the copper, which should give it plenty of fuel at equal pressure all the way around the can, equals same heat all around.         As for the drive shaft, I'm not exactly sure of what to use for that. I may want to go with something hardened already, so the heat surrounding it won't melt it. (that's the hope anyways) . I'm also not sure of what sort of bearings I will use. I was thinking skate board bearing with the plastic crap around the middle taken out (so it doesn't melt and seize the bearings) and extreme high temp. white lithium grease for lube.          This is an experiment and I guarantee myself absolutely no success. But I think it will be fun to try. Questions or comments are more than welcome. Please, if you see any problems with the design, let me KNOW!!!

Posted by shawnpc 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 months ago



Is there a way to harness solar power or some other energy source for rockets?

There are ways using a limited supply of a substance, but is there a way to get an unlimited supply?

Asked by MePerson 10 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Is my Spring in the Air - or my prop not supported? Answered

I have been reading on this site about the problems associated with building and using a vehicle for road use that runs on a clock-work basis. The square cube law problem re the spring and also the problems created by the gyro forces of the flywheel. What I want to ask is: Would it be possible to have a spring or series of springs big enough that could drive a generator to charge a bank of batteries that would then power a narrowboat on the inland waterways and potentially rivers of the UK. There is a company that supplies engines and batteries and their paraphernalia suggests it is possible to get 2 hours of battery propulsion from one hour of diesel use - http://www.betamarine.co.uk/inland/Beta_Hybrid/inland_hybrid.html. So, if the engine was removed could it be possible to use some kind of clockwork spring-thing instead of the engine big enough to charge batteries that would then power the boat. I am thinking that winding the spring would be done but either a very geared down bicycle or some kind of geared down lever crank with ratchet or even a transportable friendly donkey...I appreciate that fitness and maintaining it would be important to wind up the spring by pedalling the bike, cranking the lever or chatting to the donkey to keep it friendly. How big would the spring need to be and how long would it take to wind it up by bicycle, crank or donkey. Keen to know what the real problems would/could be...am thinking it might be possible to use a series of springs so they do not have to be so very big and therefore could overcome the square cube law problem and how many would be needed to charge the bank of batteries to then turn the prop.

Asked by vaguehippo 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Check out this Awesome Ship Propulsion System

Http://www.voithturbo.de/vt_en_pua_marine_vspropeller.htmTo see it in action -- click "Open iVSP - Interactive VSP Program" on the bottom half of the page.Just wondering if anyone got as excited as I did... or at least just as amazed as I was :p

Posted by trebuchet03 11 years ago  |  last reply 11 years ago


How to enter space orbit using raw humanpower!!!

Hi all! I was wondering what it would take and if it is even possible to reach space atmosphere from your backyard using nothing but humanoid musclepower to reach the outscirts of the earths atmosphere! to reduce weight i would suggest to put on a licht as can be space suit, strap on some oxigentanks and go, go GO! But, what device would be best suited for the job?\ And what would you "absolutely" need to reach outside of our atmosphere? Greetings earthlings!

Posted by AriedeB 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Any ideas on materials/ setup for levitating shoes? All serious responses greatly appreciated.?

I want to make levitating shoes with an old pair I have lying around. i know magnets and electromagnetic fields will not work, so I has thinking of fan propulsion systems like in the hover crafts you can buy. Even getting an inch off the ground would be fantastic. I was wondering what your guys' opinions would be on materials and setup, or if you have done the project successfully what you did and maybe your layout. All help greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Asked by adam72 7 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


Is there and instructable for a projectile launcher make from knex that doesn't use rubber band propulsion?

Is there and instructable for a projectile launcher make from knex that doesn't use rubber band propulsion? I know that something like a catapult doesn't but i what something hand held? I would like a shotgun but a crossbow would do.

Asked by seanroberts 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Jetpack-HELP - Gas turbine backpack-Make/Build???

Hi guys busy with an EXPO school project  I'm trying to make a Williams gas turbine backpack but only find dead ends on the net Can someone PLEASE share some info on how to make or build ASAP  Flight time doesn't have to be more than 8-10 seconds but if possible that'll be great !! And lift doesn't heave to be more than 15-20 cm off the ground . Any help is greatly appreciated  THANKS  -IronMan-

Posted by -IronMan- 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago



Maglev Train using Electromagnets

I have made a simple maglev train, using Electromagnets. It uses repulsion. and everything is working....except Propulsion. How can I propel it? I can remake the project if required.

Posted by NHarmonia 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


CAN SOMEONE COPY MY INSTRUCTABLE ON HOW TO BUILD AN ANTI-GRAV PROPULSION UNIT AND BECOME A BILLIONAIRE? Answered

I WOULD HATE TO MAKE SOMEONE A BILLIONAIRE WHILE I'M SITTIN' HERE EATIN' BOLONEY SAMMICHES FOR DINNER.

Asked by Capt. Howdy 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Spring loaded bicycle braking system , Does double duty as a Propulsion aid through gears . Feasible?? Answered

  Basic Idea: When used to help slow(not primary brakes) a strong coil or spring is tightened to aid slowing. When maximum amount of tightness is reached the coil disengages somehow, The coil could be kept in the tight state until released for use for a burst of propulsion through reverse gears . Totally non-electric and light. It would be ideal for stop-and -go bike commuters , up and down hilly areas ,etc.         Same idea could used for smaller cars, motorcycles,etc. Has this been used before ? Feasible ? Any critiquing of the concept is welcomed .

Asked by BtheBike 8 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


Mouse trap car? Answered

I am building a mousetrap car that is giving me problems in propulsion.  I have attached an arm to the trap, I have moved the trap closer to the wheel.  I have added a second mousetrap, and it still doesn't work.  Any guesses on why the car isn't working?

Asked by Goalie1 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


How do I throw anything far and fast? Answered

I am building an artillery, and I need any method of propulsion, may it be electronic or mechanical. Only don't make it too complex as this may be my first (or second) instructable. Please post any answer.

Asked by tanyutsharma 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


(More) Fictitious Planet Details.

          You may have seen my last question (I'm not counting on it), but if you haven't, I should tell you that I am creating a planet that can support life. I am creating an insect-like creature that flies and swims via silent propulsion. Could an animal develop a method of that propulsion? I am thinking of a couple of methods in particular. It could be MHD- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetohydrodynamic_drive It could be like the Dyson fan-http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/home/dyson-bladeless-fan.htm  I have added my sketch and a scale of the animals, as well as additional information about their behavior. I may have some terms wrong (Like hive-mind), so if I do, please .tell me so I can correct that.

Asked by eulaliaaaa! 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Simple electronics question.? Answered

Hi =)  I needed to use a rc car remote and receiver to power some relays on and off. The car is using rack and pinion steering so it  has four wires; Steering Motor Wire A Steering Motor Wire B Propulsion Motor wire A Propulsion Motor wire B  SO when i press the joy stick forward, PWA_A becomes positive and PWA_B becomes negative, driving the motor in the forward direction. Same for the steering motor when i press the other joystick Could any one give me a way to connect so that when i press the joystick in the forward direction, relay one energizes and when i press it in the other direction, the other relay energizes so i can control 2 relays  per joystick, ie 4 relays in total. Thanks!

Asked by qwerty156 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Can a net gun be made using CO2 cartridges or even blanks?

The instructable for a net gun is a good one, and I was wondering if a more compact propulsion system would be practical for the home builder.  It seems that commercial net guns use CO2 or maybe blanks as they clearly do not require pumping up.

Asked by justjimAZ 8 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Pickle Boat with 49cc motor?

Making a pickle boat for the kid.  Boat is made out of PVC and 55 gallon plastic barrel.  I've got a 49cc two stroke engine laying around I want to throw on it.  It's one of those motors that come off a pocket bike or stand up gas scooter. Anyhow, any thoughts on how to use it. I'd like to do a direct drive propulsion setup but I don't know what size propeller I would use. I could make a trolling motor out of it but I don't imagine it would work to well without stalling the motor.  I'm sure it would rust out as well.  So my questions...... 49cc two stroke motor, what size prop do I use for a propulsion (fan) like setup? If I put it under water, what size prop do I use for that?   Links would be amazing.  Thanks guys!

Asked by svince1884 2 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


gyroscopic underwater camera stabalisation

Hi does anyone know if it possible to create a stabilisation platform to make a video camera point directly down all the time underwater. the ultimate goal is to attach one to the front of a Diver Propulsion Vehicle to map small sections of the sea floor. at the moment we planning to just have a guy being towed on a rope behind the main diver keeping the camera down Thanks for any advise Tom

Posted by tawcnysc 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


i m making rocket shoes. any idea which topics r required to study? had it been made earlier???

Hiii....has anyone yet made rocket shoes??? shoes, on wearing of which justly, u can fly.... i m trying to make one wid chemical or ion propulsion.....any idea or suggestion...??? my e mail id...rjsaxena24@gmail.com

Asked by raj fighter 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Anti-gravity Machine concept

This is a concept I came up with for an idea of an anti-gravity machine.  Let me just state for the record... I do not think this will actually work.  However, while I am quite certain this idea should not work... based upon my limited knowledge of science... it would seem like it could work.  Unfortunately I know I am never going to spend the thousands if not millions of dollars to build this concept to find out. The basic premise of the idea is the use of angular momentum to overcome the force of gravity.  Imagine if you will, a gyroscope spinning at such a high velocity that its outward force overcomes the downward force of gravity.  Naturally, one of the big obstacles is generating the speeds necessary to create the velocity such that angular momentum is greater than downward force. What I essentially propose is a spinning ring that is propelled in the same way as a maglev train.  Using Electromagnetic propulsion or EMP to accelerate a ring in a vacuum by the utilization of a flowing electrical current and magnetic fields may in theory generate the speeds necessary for the force to overcome gravity.  Unfortunately, the power to run such a vehicle and the weight to power ratio are significant obstacles. Two of these rings above one another I theorize can create tremendous propulsion if the angles of the rings were changed.  Using hydrolics to change the angle of alignment of these two rings may create incredible forward momentum.  Once more, such a vehicle would not be limited to operation within Earth's atmosphere unlike jet or other propulsion mechanisms.  In fact, it should operate at peak efficiency in a zero gravitational environment. This is all theory... and I'd love to know if it is indeed as crazy as it sounds.

Posted by DarkRubyMoon 8 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


Dilithium created and observed in the laboratory!

According to a news report in Physics Today, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have confirmed the creation of element 114 first reported by Dubna physicists in 1999. As true afficionados may recall from the original Star Fleet Technical Manual (pictured), element 114 is dilithium, used to regulate the matter-antimatter reaction for warp propulsion. Unfortunately, with a lifetime of just a few hundred milliseconds, it's unlikely that crystals of element 114 will be produced any time soon.

Posted by kelseymh 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


a 12/6vdc gen. motor with the outer casing that rotates and the center armature as a fixed part to a frame? Answered

I want to use a 12/6vdc motor that will generate its own renewable power to be stored in batteries.  I want to use a small motor where the outer casing will rotate and the armature will act as a fixed support to a frame. However a small outside diameter is an issue, so it should not exceed 2inches. Is this possible????? I could go another way with gears but I am trying to develop a unique  propulsion method

Asked by jaysashanewt 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


Will i have any problems building this HOVERCRAFT MODEL at 1/2 of his scale( aka use half the measurements he uses)? Answered

I really want to build a hovercraft model. Id design my own but i know id run into center of gravity issues. Id build this one www.model-hovercraft.com/2000tdx/2000tdx.html but it is too large for my likeing and storage. Would it work at 1/2 his measurements. I realize i would need to use a different size motor and prop for the duct. I would probably use the same size motor but half sized prop for propulsion because me gusta( i like) fast.

Asked by zigzagchris 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


All Terrain Hex Limbed Extra Terrestrial Explorer

Here is some inspiration for those robotics hobbyists out there. It is the ATHLETE Robot designed by Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California. The fast motion videos are my favorite. It has some nice moves, however they might be a little slow.http://www.popsci.com/military-aviation-space/article/2008-04/lunar-habitat-hauler( A portion of the article)The Winnebago isn't exactly a marvel of technology. But there is a good chance that NASA's next generation of lunar travelers will live and work out of a two-piece system mobile robot and habitat combination that will allow astronauts to bring base camp with them that has plenty in common with the humble RV.What you see on this page is the part that makes this home mobile: Athlete (All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extra-Terrestrial Explorer), a six-limbed habitat-hauler being developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Made of aluminum, this prototype Athlete is eight feet wide and seven feet tall. It gets around using six independently controlled legs equipped with ultra-light wheels. In more-challenging terrain, the wheels can lock in place and function as feet, allowing Athlete to tiptoe through boulder-strewn fields or climb up steep hills. The mission-ready robot, which will be about twice the size of the prototype pictured here and made of steel, should be able to haul a load of up to 15 tons pretty much anywhere it wants to as long as it obeys a 3mph speed limit. That is about as fast as you can go without risking flipping over because of the low gravity, explains Brian Wilcox, the primary investigator on the Athlete project.Here is an informational video of the ATHLETE. Here is a video of the ATHLETE in action! ( Photo from http://www.pestaola.gr/img1/nasa-athlete-rover.jpg)

Posted by Brennn10 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Tesla's human powered helicopter possible?

I know he was a smart dude and he went out of his way to patent this. Was it ever built? Could it be built and work? I don't understand the propulsion system. Is it like a bicycle or is it something else? I need one of these bad to deliver free fruit to people everywhere. My car keeps getting stuff in traffic. I don't know where all these cars think they're going, but I've got places to be and the road just isn't cutting it anymore for me. And dangit the uploader isn't working. Here's a link to the patent description and images: https://www.google.com/patents/US1655114 Well, not a link. A  URL. I dont know how to do a hyperlink without the- nevermind. sort of figured it out. Click below: https://www.google.com/patents/US1655114

Posted by avocadostains 1 year ago


Need advice on making a proposed rocket I've devised different to the ones seen on here, before I waste materials?

I was thinking of making a rocket and using the fuses in a party popper as the propulsion, I was going to set up 4 gutted poppers with just the fuses on a 600ml/1 or 2 lt bottle and use a string fuse attached to the popper fuses at equal distrance running into a centre fuse/string to light it and get clear.I would use skewers or something to make it launch straight up.I would have the bottom of the popper housing/film cannister against the ground/launch pad. Has anyone tried this? Would the popper/poppers just simply blow up the thing I put them in and not work? Would I be better of doing the film cannister cannon thing instead of poppers.?

Asked by grentes 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Micro K'nex Killer Kobra roller coaster Update 1

Hooray!!! Update!!!! Thanks to the people of instructables I have been able to make progress on my micro knex killer kobra. Thanks to your votes I have added a Zero-G roll. Apart from that I have added a cutback and a small hill. Now I have two more options for you to choose from. The last two pictures show what each one is. Option 1: Barrel roll Option 2: Helix Just so you know right after one of these elements I will add a propulsion system that will hopefully give me enough speed to add a few more elements. The first element to get 4 votes wins.

Posted by Tornado96 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Harry Potter flying broom idea. Would it work? Answered

               Ok, so in the past few months I've came up with an idea for a maglev-esque flying broom design after re-watching Harry Potter. It would hover over a magnetic track using two electromagnets- one in the handle and one hidden in the broom straw. The power of the magnets could be controlled via a control panel/joystick on the handle of the broom, letting the rider control the height of the broom. I'm not sure how the speed would work, but if I understand magnetic propulsion right, it should move forward by itself. Is there any way i could get it to where the rider could control the speed? And also, I'm assuming this will cost way more than I can afford, so at the moment it is all hypothetical.

Asked by ALogan97 7 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


Take apart vacuum, see powerful motor, wat do?

So I took apart my old vacuum today and took out the motor with the impeller and everything. I put it into a housing and made a little jet car by strapping it to a skate board, which worked pretty well. I got bored the second I figured out it couldn't push me though. XD Now, I'm just wondering what to do with it. I was thinking maybe a hovercraft, but I don't have a second motor to use for propulsion. (plus, I don't think it would be as fun as one without cords to have to drag around.) So my question is... what should I do with it now? As of now, it doesn't really have a use other than looking and sounding awesome.

Asked by tylervitale 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Wind Power Charge Regulators

Hello!! I need some help here...I am very "green" when it comes to alternative energy, so bear with me please! I recently decided to put together a small wind generation system to power my workshop. System is comprised of a 38v Ametek PMDC motor, 6.8' tri-blade array for propulsion. I also intend on installing a 2000 to 3000 watt modfied sine wave inverter powered by my battery bank to provide AC voltage to the shop. I want to be able to used the majority of the power created by my wind generator. I understand the concept of using a "shunt" but do not have a need for hot water or useless lighting. My question is this, would the Flexcharge NC25A charge controller (www.flexcharge.com/flexcharge_usa/products/nc25a/nc25a.htm) be sufficient enough to used in this system? Or is there something else out there that would maintain my battery bank without shunting the load when the bank is fully charged....Thanks in advance.

Posted by NMCBDet23 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Physics question? Why doesn't this work? Answered

So included I have the original "troll physics magnet car" that supposedly would use magnets for propulsion. I know that it doesn't work since the front magnet pulls the car and the car pulls the front magnet, so the energy is evened out. But if you put a stronger magnet on the front, then the smaller magnet on the car wouldn't have enough strength to equalize the larger magnet, so why wouldn't the car move forward?  What if you applied the same idea to a generator? (look at the picture with the circles and rectangles) Wouldn't the bar magnets continue to repel each other and make the generator wheel would spin forever? If the wheel was balanced and was given a little push to get things going, I don't see what the problem would be. I'm not planning on building this machine, so trial and error is out of the question for me.  Please help!

Asked by masterbuilder 7 years ago  |  last reply 8 months ago


DC motor speed controller questions Answered

In the early stages of planning an electric kayak build. Im Brainstorming ideas on how the propulsion system will work and have a few questions when it comes to DC motor speed controllers.  First off i plan on using a 100W 24v DC motor from a old electric scooter.  Not sure on the type of battery yet but it will be a 24V Now i am fairly experienced with RC Aircraft electronics, but this appears to be a different ball game! After some research it appears i want a PWM Speed controller that can handle at least 24V.   Amps wise i think i want at least 4 Amps. (Assuming my calculation was correct based off the Watts and Volts )  So this is basically more of a "am i barking up the right tree" question!   As i said earlier this is just early planning stages of the build and i want to make sure i don't make any silly mistakes!  Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Asked by ScratchBuiltAircraft 3 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


Iconic Prototypes

Over at Wired, there is a photo set of early prototypes of iconic products. Here is the story for everyone's favorite summer toy, the super soaker:   Lonnie Johnson was trying to build a better refrigerator, based on a low-cost heat pump that circulated water instead of Freon. But when one of his custom-machined brass nozzles blasted a stream of water across his bathroom, Johnson—by day an engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory—realized he had the makings of something way more fun. A shotgun-style air pump and a series of check valves allowed for sniperlike range and accuracy with little exertion. Selling the idea to toy companies, though, was more of an effort. After seven years of frustration, Johnson scrapped his difficult-to-manufacture Plexiglas “pressure containment vessel” for an empty 2-liter soda bottle. It wasn’t slick, but it was easy to make. In 1990, the toy maker Larami brought the Power Drencher to store shelves; it sold roughly 2 million of them in the first year alone. Rebranded as the Super Soaker, the line has raked in sales of more than $200 million to date.

Posted by frenzy 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


I need your suggestions for my upcoming iBle!!!

I was deciding on whether to let y'all know what I'm working on, and since I don't know much in the area I'm working in, I decided it would be best.I am working on an amphibious bicycle that can operate efficiently on land and water. There are just a few on the Interweb, and they are for sell at high prices ($500 bucks at least.)I am trying to do this with as little cost and as much recycled materials as possible.So far, I've decided that:My propulsion mechanism either has to be a prop like your average boat, or a paddlewheel. Both would be powered by my back wheel.I am considering wooden pontoons filled with 2 liter bottles or gallon milk jugs, reminiscent of this iBle.I want to stay as high as possible, but I want to be able to go straight from land to water and vice versa. Basically, no assembly required to change terrain.If anybody has any ideas at all, please let me know!Thanks much,Bran!

Posted by Bran 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Floating Dock/Pontoon/Cabin Hybrid. Please Help!? Answered

So i have this idea for a vessel i would like to construct. First, imagine a 10' by 20' floating dock. It floats using steel or plastic drums arranged in a line and possibly attached to make two parallel pontoons. After the "dock" part is constructed, a 10' by 10' cube will be constructed on top, around 3/4 of the way back on the dock. The rest of the space in the front of the cabin will used for a mast and pirate-like (:)) steering assembly managing a rudder or two on the aft. Propulsion can be sorted later and may not even be necessary. I would also like pointers on how and where to construct this and possible costs parameters. I am on a lake, Lake Cushman if you've heard of it, and have little dock space. The lake level will go down and provide an inclined beach where i can begin construction over the winter. The lake level will rise after winter, but it can be completed by then i believe. Assume i have the cabin idea figured out, all i need advice on is the above stated. Thanks! Any advice is much appreciated!

Asked by idy26 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Wind Powered Quad-Cart

I haven't seen anything this on here so I thought I'd step up. Engineers (or anyone who fancies themselves A DIYer) I found a few days back I little some very interesting Wind Powered Rides...six-or-seven-ways-wind-powers-vehicles OK so we know it CAN be done, but can it be done by a DIYer? OK here's my concept, Design and shape are optional but basic components are such: Take a pair of multi-speed Bicycles, their gearing will be the basic propulsion for this vehicle. Take one of the "bikes" and hook up a prop where the pedals "where" and set the wheel output to be higher then the prop speed, this should take care of the foreward movement once going. Now for the initial starting power (Bike 2), this can either be by petal, or by electric (solar/battery- up to you) But the basis for this whole thing is simple energy transfer, if the moving air over the prop causes the drive wheels to go, and by having them geared higher, the vehicle SHOULD move faster the faster you go ..Right? Can I get some math to back this up? it sounds like it would work.

Posted by Green_Primus 10 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Full Auto K'nex Gun Idea (Seriously)

To anybody interested in creating a fully automatic k'nex gun: Take a simple method of propulsion: splodies grenades or something of the like. Not a complicated ram-rod mechanism or anything like that. Find a way to make them a bit smaller and more stable (splodies are very unstable) via some sort modification. Then find a way to stack them, one by one, in a magazine. Find a way to release one end while using the other as a launching point inside the chamber of the weapon. Once the first end is fired, the second end is pushed up and out of the right side of the gun, mimicking shell ejection on automatic weapons. After the shell is ejected, the next piece of ammunition is fired and ejected, and so on. If anybody can figure out how to create this mechanism AND find a way to control it via a trigger, they will have created the first magazine fed, shell ejecting, fully automatic knex gun. And to whoever claims that it wouldn't be considered fully automatic, think again. Loading the gun would be a painful process, yes. But it would be fully automatic, because a fully automatic weapon fires continuously while the trigger is pulled, no matter the circumstances. And with the option of removable magazines, the possibility is certainly there. If anybody can actually succeed in this idea, all I ask is that you post it so we can build it as well.

Posted by Ikedog1995 7 years ago