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What Is The H160 Jetbeetle?

A Tiny Turbine That Packs A Big Punch

By Dave Juwel

While the name may conjure up images of Godzilla movies, the Jetbeetle is a small affordable compact jet engine that produces 180 lbs. of take-off thrust and 160 lbs. of continuous thrust. Originally these small jet engines were used to support the RC community and the large model jet fighters they were building and flying. But it wasn't long before someone decided to experiment by using them on experimental aircraft. Today, you can see similar type engines on a Cri Cri, a sailplane, the Jetman's wing, and a growing variety of kit-built helicopters.

Wondering about the name? The little turbine is named after the African Bombardier Beetle. The African Bombardier Beetle blasts a jet of boiling liquid at its enemies at 300 explosive pulses per second. The fiery potion, which reaches 100C, is made in a heart-shaped chamber less than a millimeter long and tipped with a swiveling nozzle on the beetles backside. But unlike its namesake, this little jet engine squirts thrust instead of a defensive liquid.

These little jet engines typically sell for about $30,000. But the manufacturer of the H160 Jetbeetle only has a price point of about $11,000 (valid only during AirVenture). That price includes the ECU, sensors, data terminal and technical support.

The engine is manufactured in Taiwan, but the electronics needed to operate it are manufactured in the United States.

The company is designing a new turbine with an output of 275 lbs. take-off thrust and 250 lbs. continuous thrust. They hope to have it on the market by the end of 2013.

FMI: www.jetbeetle.com

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