At Fifty50 we appreciate thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies of all shapes and sizes. The need for speed is what drives us. After all, our community is built on taking things further, faster, and harder than they’ve ever been taken before.
But even we’ve never thought about strapping a jet engine to our chest to win a sky-diving race!
Bob Maddox from Oregon is our type of guy.
A huge skydiving fan, Bob used to compete in tracking contests, freefalling across the sky at over 120mph. Frustrated at constantly losing out to one of his friends, Bob started thinking about how to add a bit more speed to his dives. Demonstrating that kind of thinking that earns him massive respect from all of us here at Fifty50, his mind turned towards jet propulsion.
Having built his own jet pulse engine, Bob actually made three successful jumps with this homemade tank of fire and fury strapped to his chest. However, he eventually gave it up when it seemed like he might set the plane on fire!
But he’d entered the wild world of jet pulse engines, and was hooked.
Bob has been building jet pulse engines now for seven years. His creations range from pretty tiny, used to super-charge model aeroplanes, to two massive beasts. It is now part of the nitro-methane monstrosity that is Wally Larson’s Top Gun Groundfighter show car.
But Bob’s real claims to fame are his jet-propelled Schwinn bicycles. Classic, old-school, retro cruiser bikes with 50 pounds of pulse jet thrust make quite the impression. We love this mad, over-the-top, frankly dangerous attitude.
Sitting on the stationary bike the engine doesn’t make too much difference, but fire up the pulse jet and things get hairy pretty quickly. You hit top speed in about seven seconds, and fifty miles per hour on a lightweight bicycle feels pretty hectic!
Sitting on top of a red-hot fiery metal tube screaming in blissful agony at 150 decibels might not be to everyone’s taste. But he’s got happy customers in the Netherlands, and we are behind his crazy way of thinking, 100%!
Although 50mph is the fastest speed Bob has personally achieved, he thinks that 75mph is totally possible. That is for anyone brave enough to throw caution to the wind and give it a go!