A Jet-powered car has just been built by a team of engineers who are using the latest science and design techniques to make something that is lighter, faster and more fuel-efficient.
The team at the University of Nottingham, UK, have used computer modelling and a variety of new materials and techniques to develop the jet engine, which has been dubbed the “superjet”.
The engine, designed by the University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, uses a pair of turbine blades that are connected by a series of tubes to create the power required to push the car into a full-scale production run.
It was built using the UK’s Rolls-Royce engine, and it is expected to be ready to go in 2019.
The car, which weighs a staggering 2,000kg, is designed to be able to travel a distance of more than 300km (186 miles) in just six hours, and the team has built it using a combination of materials including titanium, carbon fibre and carbon nanotubes.
“This is the first time anyone has built a jet car from scratch using the most modern materials available,” says Dr Chris Wilson, lead researcher on the project.
“It has a power range of 600kw, which is about as much as a Ford Focus RS or Toyota Prius,” he said.
“The jet engine is powered by the exhaust gases of a jet engine and the exhausts generate about 40,000 kilowatts of thrust, enough to power a single person for a full day.”
This engine has been developed from a combination that is extremely complex and can be built from multiple components.
“So far we have used high-temperature titanium as a starting material for the fuel tanks, which are made of titanium carbide and the jet fuel tanks are made from carbon fibre.”
“We have developed a very simple and reliable, lightweight and cheap-to-build fuel-tank assembly system, and we have now taken this system and developed a fuel-cell hybrid system for this system, which will allow us to build the car in a much shorter time.”
The team is aiming to have the car ready to be used on the road by the end of the decade, with a target of being ready to roll off the production line in 2019 at the earliest.