The Ten Greatest Non-Aircraft Things Powered By Turbine Engines

Turbine engines are super cool, and they aren’t just limited to aircraft. These are the ten best things powered by turbines, both jet and gasoline.

10.) Snow Blower


For when the puny little snow blower you bought at Sears won’t do the trick, you need to bring in the big guns.

Many old jet engines find themselves repurposed for snow clearing on train tracks, runways, and wherever else needs serious snow blowing.

Suggested By: As Du Volant, Photo Credit: MTA

9.) MTT Turbine Superbike


As if motorcycles weren’t scary enough, MTT went and stuck a Rolls Royce turbine in one which makes 286 HP at the rear wheel. Jay Leno owns one and he described it thusly: “It really does scare you half to death, but it’s great fun.”

Reader Mr. P85D rode one as well:

“It’s terrifying not because of its speed per se, but the throttle response under acceleration and deceleration is ridiculously delayed. You have to think about what’s going to happen 3s down the road, at ALL times. Doesn’t sound like much, but on a motorcycle, and a motorcycle like that more than anything, it’s a decade.”


Suggested By: DennyCraneDennyCraneDennyCrane, Photo Credit: MTT

8.) Street Luge


If you completely lack a sense of self-preservation, a jet powered street luge is the vehicle for you.

The luge pictured has a 90,000 RPM turbine making 80 lb. of thrust which propelled its rider to 112 MPH back in 2007. That’s nothing compared to what Australian Daz Fellows is trying to do: he wants to hit 300 MPH. 300!


Suggested By: JohnnyWasASchoolboy, Photo Credit: via Gizmodo

7.) USCGC Polar-Class Icereaker


How does the US Coast Guard break through ice, up to 21 feet at a time? With Polar-class icebreakers made by Lockheed Shipbulding.

The Polar Star and Polar Sea are powered by 6 Diesel engines totaling 18,000 hp, and three Pratt & Whitney turbines totaling 75,000 hp. It’s not like these things are very fast, but that’s quite a lot of horsepower. That’d be 166 Porsche 911 Turbo Ss, to put it into perspective.


Suggested By: UncleWalty, Photo Credit: United States Coast Guard

6.) STP-Paxton Turbocar


Turbine powered race cars kind of had a mini-moment in the 1960s, and this 1967 Indy 500 runner is one of the very coolest.

The turbine and the driver were sat side by side, and power was sent to all four wheels via a torque converter. Parnelli Jones led much of the ‘67 Indy 500, but a simple transmission bearing failure caused him to retire just 8 miles short of the finish.


Suggested By: Patrick Frawley, Photo Credit: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

5.) “Big Wind” Fire Extinguisher


What does everyone say about fighting fire with fire? The Big Wind does just that with two engines from a MiG-21 mounted on a Soviet T-34 Tank.

These were used to put out oil fires in Kuwait during the Gulf War. Six hoses blasted the fire first, then the jet engines created a powerful jet of steam, cutting off the oil from the flame.


Suggested By: Blondude, Photo Credit: Omar Walid via YouTube

4.) A Volkswagen New Beetle


Suddenly, the New Beetle just became very appealing. This picture looks fake, but this car is completely legit – it’s the creation of engineer Ron Patrick.

The original FWD drivetrain is intact and functional, and the rocket engine is good for 1,350 HP. Shockingly enough, it’s totally road legal in California.


Suggested By: Mhart27, Photo Credit: Ron Patrick

3.) Thrust SSC


The incredible Bloodhound SSC looks poised to take its record, but the original Thrust SSC is still an unbelievable engineering achievement.

With 110,000 hp from two Rolls-Royce turbo fan engines, the Thrust set the World Land Speed record of 763 MPH in 1997, also becoming the first car to break the sound barrier.


Suggested By: TheHondaBro, is Brian, and Star Trek is better, Photo Credit: Getty Images

2.) New York Central Black Beetle


This experimental train never saw the commercial glory it deserved, and that’s quite a bit of a shame.

Using two boosters from a B-36 Peacemaker, this locomotive hit 183.68 mph in a test run, but it was scrapped when New York Central and the Pennsylvania Railroad merged.


Suggested By: My X-type is too a real Jaguar, Photo Credit: Getty Images

1.) Tractor Pull


Is there anything greater in this world than big-ass tractors doing wheelies pulling big-ass things, powered by multiple turbine engines?

Nope. This is pretty much the pinnacle of human achievement right here.

Suggested By: Maxzillian, Photo Credit: Kanaal van 111MakerTrouble

Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day’s Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It’s by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!


Top Photo Credit: Getty Images

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