The concept

This ICE JET concept is a ‘wink’ to Joseph-Armand Bombardier‘s first prototype. I wanted to take a second look at his first machine and imagine a concept without restrictions, a cool futuristic ice travelling vehicle pushed by air on 4 skates.


Of course this is still a 100 year old idea… It sprung into the mind of Joseph-Armand Bombardier when he was 14 years old and he built a prototype with his brother using an old Ford engine and a pair of carriage skis. The engine was bolted on a simple frame and it rotated an airplane propeller behind the machine.

How it works

The main features I incorporated are : small jet turbine, bladeless fans, 4-ski steering, heated carbides / blades, closed cockpit, fully independent suspensions.

I planned to use a small Turbine (Like the Bladon Jet Turbine) that would gather air from the front of the vehicle and pushes it on the outer rim of each fan’s (a concept similar to Dyson’s air multiplier fans). I integrated a bladeless fan configuration in the ICE JET because it might increase the total thrust, also the main danger of J-A’s prototype came from the use of an exposed rear propeller…

The powerpack used to build up the air could also come from a combustion engine. The motor/turbine system would be installed under the tandem cockpit.   The pilot would be able to restrict the speed/airflow with 4 vanes. The fans can also pivot along the longitudinal axis so they can help steer the vehicles with additional help from the the 4 skis.

A few extra notes : The ice skates carbide rods can be heated to increase the sliding effect by creating a water film between the ice and the blade. Each ski would have its own independent suspension and be able to steer left or right. The front ski legs are fitted with holes that double as a ladder to climb into the cockpit.

Piloting a vehicle such as the ICE JET with all its intricacies could prove challenging. It would be useful to include a drive-by-wire system and a computer that could assist the pilot to fine tune every variable (ski angle, turbine power, vanes opening, fan’s rotation angle, suspension stiffness, heated blade…). In any case I hope you like the idea, maybe one day we can build one!

The Designer

Last but not least, I would like to thank Joseph-Armand Bombardier for his inspiration and Boris Schwarzer who created the renderings for this concept!