Caged Pulse Jets is an interactive, kinetic sound sculpture. The caged birds are five spinning pulse jet engines of various sizes that create a range of percussive and droning tones. Through a completely interactive interface, the public can create sound compositions ranging from the symphonic to the cacophonous while they are held captive by the fiery jets spinning by their own thrust.

January 31, 2010

The concept-

The cage containing the jets stands 17' tall, including the top lifting ring, and is 18' wide at its widest. The jet cage has an octagonal footprint and is decorated ornately with forged elements to look like a giant bird cage. Inside, hidden within the structure, run propane, air and electric- the three ingredients for the valveless pulse jet engines to work. Five arms run out from the cage structure and hold the pulse jets and their fuel. Each jet has its own axis that it will spin freely around powered by its engine thrust. This will also add a stereo sound component to each jet.
I am hoping to get frequencies ranging from 60 Hertz to 600 Hertz, and that will depend on the actual size of the jet. There is a user interface control panel outside of the cage that enables the public to "play" the jets as they will have the ability to modify the amount of fuel, and air. I would like it to be a control panel that can be played by one or several people-a moon shaped panel with sets of three buttons/knobs/switches for each jet. The control panel is attached and tethered to the cage. The incredible sounds that these jets can make will create a thunderous symphony like no other. While running, the jets will radiate their bright orange and yellow glow, resembling dynamic and awe-inspiring birds flying around in their bird cage.

Sketches and Pictures

Here are some pictures-

The first one is of my first Pulse Jet- I built a Lockwood-Hiller style jet for a show called Propulsion in Taos, NM in 2008. It ran when it felt like it, but it sounded great! I was inspired by the huge pulse jets at a SRL show at Robodock, which I had the great pleasure of operating during the show.










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