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DSC 0134 smallWe, but in particular our engineers, are always very interested in the unusual and at Airtime we see more than our fair share of interested engineers.

On seeing an odd coloured BRITTEN-NORMAN Islander Defender in the hangar we investigated and found an engineer happily grinning over one of the Rolls Royce 250-B17F/1 turbine engines he was working on. The first thing he said was "did you know they used this engine in a motorcycle but it only had one gear!".

So we went off to find out more...

So how mad can it get?

Well it seems Marine Turbo Technologies (MTT) took the entire biscuit tin when they used a Rolls Royce 250-B17F/1 turbine engine to create a 286bhp, 200+mph superbike. Yet even with the engine, the frame to support it plus the ancillary kit needed to allow for a rider, surprisingly the Y2K bike weighs in at just 190kgs.

Although you might need to be pretty well off to actually own one of these as the price is around £100,000 it is by all accounts quite usable and easy to ride, but you need to get the turbine blade speed up to around 20,000 revs before you can set off! The Rolls Royce Allison 250 is essentially standard jet turbine which means it can use anything from normal pump gas to tequila or even Chanel No.9 but of course diesel fuel burns most efficiently, so provides the most power. Efficiency in this instance does not reflect in Economy as it burns 1.6 litres a minute at normal road speeds between 50-70mph so not even close to travel friendly as an early battery powered car yet the engineering to get this to work is truly stunning.


Now the concept motorcycle has gone from prototype to production and has won 2 Guinness World Records. You can read more about it here and the wide eyed report from a willing volunteer who decided to give it a test ride

But we started off by talking about "an odd coloured BRITTEN-NORMAN Islander Defender in the hangar" so as we get over our shock of the motorcycle perhaps you would like to see this unusual type too.

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