This ride, built by the dastardly danger-hackers at the Madagascar Institute, scares the daylights out of me. But some men are braver than I am. Like Tim O’Reilly (yes, that Tim O’Reilly) who didn’t seem too apprehensive about straddling a pulse jet welded to a glorified swing set. I don’t know about him, but my heart is still racing!

Photos by Marc de Vinck. More pics here.

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy person’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

  • Dave

    I’m seriously impressed – both by the ride and the fortitude of those who tried it!

    I froze a frame and placed lines over a screenshot to measure the angle between the ride’s hanger arms and the horizontal. Averaged just about 20°. If my ancient and rusty trig serves me correctly, they’re polling almost exactly 3 G’s!

    I hope the structure was engineered for the stress, but it sure looks like fun…


  • Cyrano

    redefines the term “Crotch Rocket” :)

  • sukotto.myopenid.com

    Those jet ponies were really amazing. My 3 year old was adamant about his desire to ride one and I wish I could have as well.

    That being said, I will not attend next years Maker Faire if the jets (or anything like them) are going to be on the grounds. The noise pollution from them was so OVERWHELMINGLY disruptive that my family and I could not enjoy the young maker tent, the crafting/knitting tent, the forensic/CSI tent, or the clothing/art vendor booths.

    The Mentos-Coke fountain guys and the giant mousetrap had to stop their shows and wait for the noise to subside… and they were pretty far away AND blocked by a grove of trees… it was REALLY loud.

    The jets need to be in their own, sound-baffled area next year.

  • Steven Nelson

    YaY Jet Ponies!