A man from Staffordshire has designed Britain’s first jet-powered mobility scooter.
The scooter, which can travel up to 126mph, is a far cry from the usual 4pmh and 8mph folding mobility scooters. Tom Bagnall, 25, spent £3,500 on customising the scooter with a home-built jet engine, a turbocharger from a truck and a bespoke combustion chamber.
Mr Bagnall told Metro.co.uk he’d been working on the scooter for three years. 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.”
The souped-up scooter has already competed in demo runs at Shakespeare County Raceway in Stratford-upon-Avon and Santa Pod Raceway in Bedfordshire. Mr Bagnall added: “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 and 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 is accelerates quite rapidly.”
Despite the challenge and enjoyment of building and riding the scooter, it is “possibly one of the most dangerous things you can ride in”, according to Mr Bagnall. He added: “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 Santa Pod Raceway. I would like to get the vehicle into the Guinness World Book of Records in the future.”
Earlier this year, a mechanic from Cornwall adapted his mobility scooter to make it travel up to 60mph. You can read more about this story, and speed limits for scooters, on our blog.