After this, be sure to see: NT/3
This series of photos shows the very first of several small turbo-jet engines I built for kicks starting in 1984. I built them all from scratch, with no plans, using old car and truck turbochargers and scrap materials from our family owned welding & fabricating shop. (we make custom attachments for heavy equipment). I had never seen a turbo turbine before, I thought I was the first to build one, turns out the US air force beat me to it by about 8 years with their "Ultra Low Cost Turbojet" project.
My first turbojet NT/1 shown here was made using an old worn-out Buick LeSabre turbo, a piece of two inch rad hose and some three inch muffler pipe for a combustor. I spun an old Chevy distributor in a lathe to provide spark and used acetylene from a cutting torch as fuel, lubrication was by means of an oil-can (manually pumped every few seconds) and starting was facilitated by spinning the turbo with a shop air gun, a joke, yes, but to my joy and amazement, it worked. I was so thrilled at how easily I was able to build and run this little jet that I decided to dive right in and build a bigger one.
It was the joy of building and running this little turbojet that encouraged me to start NTC.
The spark plug lead and the fuel line were simply pinched between the turbo outlet and 2" air hose with some silicone and a hose clamp. Slightly leaky, but good enough to run.
There are more photos of NT/1 on the NT Infopack CD, but unfortunately no photos exist of the complete running unit. We may build a replica someday, but for now we are on to bigger and better things.
Update: Summer 2008
We have rebuilt the NT/1 turbojet and these are the images.
See the Discovery Channel segment on NTC to see NT/1 running.
If you like what you have seen so far, check out our subsequent project; The NT/3 TurboJET