When Chris Lentz was a kid back in the 1960’s, he didn’t dream of becoming President, walking on the moon, or even becoming a fireman. No, this crazy kid from Jackson, Michigan dreamed about driving around in his very own jet powered pickup truck! And as fate would have it, he met a pilot in 2007 that just so happened to import used jet engines from Europe. A light went off in the now 50-something year old electric foreman’s head, as Chis suddenly realized that his childhood dream might actually be possible.
Building The Jet Truck
After seeing one of the importer’s jet engines perform on a test stand, Lentz eagerly ponied up $10,000 to buy one. The engine he got was a late 50’s-early 60’s vintage Motolet M-701 turbojet, that would have originally been used to power a L-29 Delfin jet trainer. That little 407 mph jet plane was used to train fighter pilots in Eastern Europe, and its engine was about to power, well, something. To find a suitable chariot, Chris went on eBay and bought a slightly used 2005 Ford F-150 STX for $12,000. Then he set about putting the two together.
The 728 lb Motolet jet engine was mounted on a custom stand in the F-150’s bed, directly over the rear axle. Ahead of that sits a 20-gallon fuel tank, and the whole shebang is controlled by a pair of airplane levers (blue one for throttle, red one for fuel), mounted in a custom diamond plate center console. Aside from the cool jet levers, the console also houses switches for the two-stage electric starter.
Jet-Powered 2005 Ford F-150 STX Specs
2005 Ford F-150 STX
4.6L SOHC V8
Horsepower – 231 @ 4,750 rpm
Torque – 293 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm
Motolet M-701 TurboJet
Horsepower – 2,700 @ 516 mph (presumably, the engine can inhale enough air at that speed to produce maximum power)
Torque/Thrust – 1,960 ft-lb thrust @ 15,500 rpm
Jet Truck Performance
Automobile magazine tested the Chris Lentz Ford F-150 Jet Truck, and got some rather surprising results. Using just the gas V8, this 6,221 lb toy ambled to 60 mph in a not-surprising 14.5 seconds. It eventually covered the 1/4 mile at 73 mph, and terminal velocity was noted at 85 mph. But if you lower the tailgate and flip a switch, things suddenly get a lot more interesting.
Using both the V8 and jet engines, this jet truck can hustle itself to 60 mph in a more reasonable 8.5 seconds. It can also cover the 1/4 mile in a recordable 16.3 seconds @ 103 mph. That doesn’t seem very fast at first glance. However, jet engines make their power at the ‘top end’, because they need a lot of air to turn fuel into propulsion. So it should come as no surprise that this 85 mph Ford F-150 reached 140 mph, after just 45 seconds of full throttle acceleration. Give this thing enough road, and it would simply obliterate the 254 mph Bugatti Veyron. Granted, the truck’s tires would explode long before you reached 200 mph. But still, this guy’s F-150 has more power than two $2 million dollar Veyron’s combined. No wonder he wanted one…