What happens if you put a plane engine in a car!?

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by Jessica Tabinor on


  • With all the talk of self-driving cars in the near future, electric vehicles and flying cars, it has us wondering—what happens if you put a plane engine in a car?

  • We share some talented (and arguably mad) individuals have produced cars with plane engines!

With all the talk of self-driving cars in the near future, electric vehicles and flying cars, it has us wondering—what happens if you put a plane engine in a car?

We know it sounds crazy, and it may well be, so we thought we would debunk the mystery of why it can, or can’t happen…

It can take years to develop new technology for the automotive industry, so where do you go to get help?

Achates, located in San Diego, California just happen to have done this exact research. They went to the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy who provide funds, technical know-how and marketing assistance to companies with promising clean energy ideas.

David Crompton, president and CEO of Achates, at an ARPA-E summit meeting of experts, investors and inventors described his design of such an engine as one without a cylinder head that creates diesel-like combustion of fuel to push two pistons in opposite directions simultaneously.search morson automotive jobs

David said:

"This is about low carbon dioxide and low emissions engines.”

Named the “opposed-piston engine” it’s reportedly 30% more efficient than a conventional diesel engine and an amazingly 50% more efficient than gasoline engines with fewer parts.

After receiving a small grant from ARPA-E, Achates sold its idea to the Department of Defence which invested $14 million in a version of the engine that's being developed to power advanced versions of its medium-sized Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

Achates says it has attracted more than $160 million in investments from venture capital firms and members of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, which includes many of the world's major oil companies.

Watch this space, you could be buying a car with an aeroplane engine after all!


Inventive cars with plane engines

Some talented (and arguably mad) individuals have produced cars with plane engines, using little more than sheer creativity and a well-stocked tool shed.

Purely for a bit of hump day fun, we thought we’d share a few!

This 19ft car, namely ‘The Beast’ has a Rolls Royce Merlin aeroplane engine and was brought to life in the 60s. We wouldn’t like to try and park that!





Who doesn’t want a piston-propelled aeroplane engine in their car? One thing’s for sure, this will definitely annoy your neighbours! Ron Patrick from California loaded a jet-modified gas turbine engine from a Sea King helicopter into the back of his Beetle.


Morson is the No.1 aerospace recruiter, supplying the aerospace and defence industry for 50 years. Ready to find your next role? Search our Aerospace & Defence jobs here.


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