Hairdryer fanjet engines

  • The smallest kind of hairdryers contain an electric motor and a fan unit which are ideal for recreating a jet engine suitable for a 1/33 scale paper model, which will run on 9V. Below a few photos to demonstrate.

    1) At the flea market, look for the smallest (least diameter) hairdryers, like the one in the image. This one cost me 2 euros.

    2) A certain amount of judicious violence lays bare the treasure at the middle, the fan unit (plus, if you're lucky, a small usable switch). Cut off the heating spiral and all electronics.

    3) And this is what you're left with - one small electric motor with a very good fan attached to it (the fan is the main reason to go to this trouble), plus a usable switch. The largest diameter of this unit is 27,5 mm.

    4) The beauty of it all is that although the hairdryer as such is plugged into the 220V mains, the electric motor detached from the heating spiral runs like a dream on a 9V battery (preferably rechargeable, for mounting inside the model).

    The high-pitched wining sound and powerful airstream are most realistic!

  • Jörg,

    Oh, I am sure I will, at some point. I was well on my way with a Jak-23 Flora, projected for 1/16, but there were so many inaccuracies with the model, that I got sidetracked.

    I have reported this little thing with hairdryers elsewhere on the site, but thought I'd collect the stuff into a separate thread here, so that people will be able to find it.

    Below, you can see the slightly larger fan unit I was planning for the 1/16 scale Yak-23; a drawing of the projected RR "Ghost" copy; and a see-through view of the Jak, to demonstrate how well the fan unit would have fitted in with the original full-size design.

    This fan unit was from a slightly larger, regular hairdryer, not the very thin curler type from the post above. This unit, too, ran on 9V (as do all hairdryers I have dissected). It was 59 mm diameter, thus twice as large, but still the smallest I had found until that time.

    Today's flea-market find is a little gem. I believe you should stick to this kind of ultra-thin diameter, curler-typ, hairdryers for 1/33 scale.

  • Nah, Peter, sorry, but I think the blowdryer fan would make a 1:33 model with really free-wheeling gear roll at a very modest pace over a blank floor, hardly more, if even that.

    But that's just my guess, based on previous aeromodelling. Flying model aircraft engines provide an awful lot of pull (or push as it were), even the smallest among them, much more than a hairdryer.

    Otherwise your average hairdryer would push an awful lot on your hand, and it doesn't, does it? Particularly not these thin curlers. They are very modest - but have a most convincing whine when you dismantle them and let the engine run free from the plastic casing.

    Here's my present collection of hairdryer fanjet units. I've got to stop collecting these, don't I...