This jet-powered school bus is perhaps the greatest drag racer to have ever lived.
Sure, Dodge Demons are cool, and the McLaren 720S is better still, but nothing--absolutely NOTHING--beats a jet-powered school bus.
We have Gerd Habermann of Gerd Habermann Racing to thank for this wonderful creation. GH Racing is known for their dominance of the European drag race scene (admittedly not as prolific as the American drag race scene), and they specifically enjoy putting jet engines on vehicles that they were never intended for.
Take this bus. It’s powered by a Westinghouse J-34 turbine jet engine, which is the same engine you’d find on 1950’s-era American jet fighters like the F2H Banshee, F3D Skyknight, and the P-2 Neptune. When it was new, the engine produced roughly 3,000 lbs of thrust, but it’s since been tweaked and massaged by German engineers to produce 5,000 lbs of thrust.
One of the biggest additions to the engine is an afterburner, which is the reason why you see a plume of flame coming out the end that’s nearly as long as the bus itself. The J-34 didn’t come with an engine originally (American jets wouldn’t come equipped with afterburners until the J-48 turbojet) but that didn’t stop GH Racing from fitting their own custom design on the venerable J-34.
It should be noted that afterburners are not particularly eco-friendly. They’re essentially dumping jet fuel into the engine exhaust and letting it catch fire in order to achieve a commensurate boost in power. It’s impressive, but definitely causes this bus to fail its emissions test.
With full throttle and afterburner, this jet-bus has 19,726 hp. That’s like 23 Dodge Demons.
On this quarter-mile run, GH Racing’s just bus managed a time of 11.20 seconds at 127 mph, but according to the video notes it’s capable of running in the 9’s. If we had some slightly drier conditions we might even see it outrun a Demon one day.
But in the meantime, imagine your 6-year-old getting picked up for school in this thing.