JET Powered Lawnmower – Accidental Fire!

During this engine test of Steve’s Jet Lawnmower, we had a bit of a catastrophe….

This sit-on Lawnmower has a home-made gas turbine, or jet engine under the seat. made form a lorry turbocharger, and home built combustion chamber. We don’t claim to have built it, as Steve bought it off eBay. (This is in the UK)

I’d invited my old man over to see the engine run, as he’s also an Engineer by trade and would find it interesting, he’d never been to see it before, so perhaps that may have been a bad omen to begin with! He was videographer for the engine run.


During the engine run, one of the afterburner fuel hoses had melted due to the heat produced at the back end. This, we didn’t know at the time.. so when we came to switch on the Afterburner, or Reheat fuel, the petrol / diesel mix squirted over the outside of the jet pipe with disastrous consequences. Good job it didn’t explode!

So once the Lawnmower had turned it’self into a bonfire, we had the challenge of putting it out! As the fuel pumps were still running and pumping fuel into the fire, there was no way of putting it out with water / extinguisher!! It was rescued by pulling the battery lead off, and the fire brigade wasn’t called! Never the less, it’s made an interesting video:

Cheers, Scott.

Cockpitfest 2010 @ Newark Air Museum

With the 2011 C’Fest fast approaching, it’s a good time to blog about last year’s event…..

For the un-acquainted, Cockpitfest (sureley a better name could have been chosen!) is an annual event held at Newark Air Museum, over a weekend in June. The museum invites private cockpit (or “aircraft nose section”) owners to display their pride and joy’s to the public. This event brings a lot of visitors to the museum, and is great for publicity. These owners restore and rebuild their nose sections just like a classic car owner would, and this show is the classic car show of the aviation world!

Fir the participants, or displayers, it’s a fantastic networking event, I’ve only attended twice (2009 and 2010) and have made some really good friends, and some great contacts within the classic aviation world.

The museum usually organises a small air display or fly-past during the weekend which adds to the interest. For people who display, a Saturday night session is put on, with FREE hog-roast and FREE BEER! – So needless to say Sunday morning can be a bit slow…. We camp the night over within the museum inbetween the exhibits, which is a unique experience in itself! Official event website below:



The weekend had a great turnout, a lot of cockpit owners brought along their cockpit projects in various states of repair, and a lot completed. Around 30 cockpits attended the event, plus a host of non-cockpit displays from private collections of aviation related memorabilia, stuff, etc..

Stacks of visitors through the gates over the weekend, mainly families having a day out. It’s great for that, as the kids love sitting in the aircraft cockpits, and get to learn so much.


My contribution to the event, not being a cockpit-owner was my collection of Flight (US term) or Flying (UK term) Helmets. I’d built a special display stand which got named the “Helmet Tree” by FlyPast magazine’s editor Ken Ellis. There were a lot of non-cockpit displays, mainly instrument panels, ejection seats, flight and survival gear. I was really chuffed when the Helmet Tree won the first ever award for Best Non-Cockpit Display, which was a nice collectable bottle of Single Malt Scotch!

Cheers to Newark Air Museum!!  And many thanks to my understanding, long suffering wife! ;o)




DC6 DINER @ Coventry Airport

Recently opened, this quirky place to dine outreally impressed me… this old DC6 was originally a cargo plane, recently reitred, it’s now been transformed into a unique restaurant!

The aircraft still stands on it’s inflated tyres, and duly sways in the breeze! it’s still 100% complete, all engines, etc.. are still present. The cockpit is illumiated for dinner guests to view. 

Food was better than expected, mainly Grill dinners, the steaks were exceptional.

The Diner forms part of “Airbase“, Coventry’s actively flying air museum, so the views form the starboard side are of the Nimrod, Shackleton, Hawker Hunter, Canberra various DC3’s etc… 

Thumbs up to a striving new local business! :o)


Being from the UK,  we sadly have no means of purchasing a Chinese Takeaway in the cardboard box / cartons that our cousins over the pond use. So, on my first trip to Ohio, I made sure that I sampled the delights of this famed white cardboard container of oriental delights…. much to the amusement of my American colleagues, when I excitedly told them about it the following day!