Crazy Rocketman Takes His Jet Engine Dragon Out for a Ride, Ends Up Spitting Too Much Fire

Pulsejet Engine-Powered Desert Rat Engine Blows Out During a Ride in the Desert 7 photos
Photo: Robert Maddox/YouTube
Desert Rat (dragon) pulsejet engine-powered dragsterDesert Rat (dragon) pulsejet engine-powered dragsterDesert Rat (dragon) pulsejet engine-powered dragsterDesert Rat (dragon) pulsejet engine-powered dragsterDesert Rat (dragon) pulsejet engine-powered dragsterDesert Rat (dragon) pulsejet engine-powered dragster
Robert Maddox, a.k.a. the Crazy Rocketman by the Internet, has lived his entire life around pulsejet engines, building them, testing them, repairing them, and using them to power the most insane, homemade vehicles. Most of the time, the guy’s contraptions operate as intended, but every now and then, an engine blows out during a ride in the middle of the desert. Like now.

Just to offer a quick background on this old dude, for those who are seeing him for the first time, Maddox is now in his 60s, and he enjoys his golden years by doing what he's been doing his whole life: building all kinds of insane vehicles, proving to the world that almost anything can be turned into a rocket. He is obsessed with pulsejet engines and he uses them to power anything from skateboards to tricycles, go-karts, bikes, cars, and so on. He appeared on MythBusters, on Jesse James’ Monster Garage, and he’s made a pretty penny selling his contraptions.

One of his latest builds is the Desert Rat (which he also calls the Dragon), an altered dragster that produces 270 lb (122 kg) of thrust out the back and whose engine runs at approximately 1200 degrees F (649 Celsius). The Crazy Rocketman introduced us to his Desert Rat back in August and now he just took the dragster for a spin, but the ride didn’t go exactly as planned.

The jet engine of the Desert Rat suffered a failure, to put it mildly, and simply blew out, melting the heat shield, and leaving a trail of thick, dark smoke.

But once a daredevil, always a daredevil. The Crazy Rocketman is unstoppable, regardless of how his DIY vehicles behave on the road. This is not his first mishap with these pulsejet engines either, and it probably won’t be the last. Another such accident took place about two months ago when he was riding another one of his creations, a twin pulsejet engine kart. But, in the words of the Crazy Rocketman himself, failures are popular on YouTube, helping him get even more hits and likes.

Watch the Desert Rat’s engine blow out in the video below.

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About the author: Cristina Mircea
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Cristina’s always found writing more comfortable to do than speaking, which is why she chose print over broadcast media in college. When she’s not typing, she also loves riding non-motorized two-wheelers, going on hikes with her dog, and rocking her electric guitars.
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