A petrolhead has designed Britain’s first jet-powered mobility scooter – which he claims has a top speed of 126mph.
The scooter was built by mechanical engineer Tom Bagnall, 25, at a cost of £3,500.
The unique vehicle has been kitted out with a home-built jet engine, a turbocharger from a large truck and bespoke custom-made combustion chamber.
It has been a labour of love for Tom Bagnall, from Cheadle, Staffs., who has been working on the CareCo scooter for more than three years.
The mobility scooter has competed in demo runs at Santa Pod Raceway and the Shakespeare County Raceway.
But the designer says the scooter had never run its top speed because it would need to race it on a mile-long track.
Tom is hoping one day to get the 150lbs thrust vehicle, which is equivalent to 150 brake horsepower, into the Guinness World Records.
He said: “It has never run its top speed before, it would need a mile-long track.
“But the exact same engine was on a go-cart and it ran a top speed of 126mph, the mobility scooter is lighter so I think it would probably do more – I can guarantee it would do 120mph.
“It’s unofficially the world’s first jet-powered mobility scooter – it has not been confirmed but I haven’t come across any other ones.
“The chaps a few years ago who fitted a 600cc engine to a mobility scooter ran a top speed racing on a quarter-mile track – that’s a lot faster than mine across that distance.
“Mine is slower to get up to speed but when it reaches 50mph it accelerates quite rapidly.
“It possibly one of the most dangerous things you can ride in. The wheelbase is only 800mm long.
“It has competed in drag racing, not against anyone, just demo runs – it’s a bit of a crowd-pleaser.
“It gets a lot of attention as you can imagine, the fastest speed it has reached on a quarter-mile track was 74mph, that was at Santa Pod Raceway.
“I would like to get the vehicle into the Guinness World Book of Records in the future.”
Tom and four friends, who all specialise in gas turbine engines, have previously fitted a jet-powered engine to a Mini Cooper, Kayak and go-cart.
But Tom and Ollie peeled off from the group to design the jet-powered mobility scooter.
“It was myself and a friend called Ollie Rowrth who made it,” added Tom. “Ollie lost interest towards the end.
“It was quite tricky to make. There are a lot of components involved and it was quite hard to cram them all in.
“If you just look at it, you would think not a great deal of work had gone into the design but when you take the body off you realise the complexity of the project.
“We had a few issues with the oil pressure and getting the right amount of voltage – it was abit of a nightmare really but we got there in the end.
“Effectively, it’s a home-built jet engine. It’s a turbo charge from a large truck with a bespoke custom-made combustion chamber.
“There is a working afterburner on the engine which is what makes most of the power and noise.
“There are two fuel pumps, one oil pump and two igniter boxes.”
Tom will be appearing in BBC documentary Invented In the North, which is due to air on Friday at 7.30pm on BBC1.
I am pleased for Tom, but please i do hate when you get your facts wrong…. but what does the truth matter when it comes to increasing your readership