Johnny Jetpack Propulsion Labs

Johnny Jetpack in repose

Johnny Jetpack

July 2013

Nathan's Squirrel on America's Got Talent

Howard Stern calls Nathan "worst puppeteer I've ever seen" - AGT video.

August 19, 2012

Nathan on the cover of today's Pacific Northwest magazine

Johnny Jetpack Chief Scientist Nathan Arnold is the cover boy for today's Seattle Times magazine story on Summer Fling Time.

July 15,2009

Arnold Masonry

Johnny Jetpack Chief Scientist Nathan Arnold does business during the day as Nathan Arnold Masonry, crafting Seattle's finest stone, concrete, brick, and masonry projects. Call Nathan at 206-547-3082 for more information. (The living room set in this photo is made entirely of concrete.)

May 26,2009

JJPL's "Head Stick"

Check out this video of Nathan's latest masterpiece. Skip ahead to about :40 to see the successful attempt.

Head Stick from The Corey.

March 9, 2008

JJPL at the Moisture Festival

Nathan will debut Tess Toss Tyrone - a new 7'7" Utilitkilt-sporting puppet with a split personality - at the Moisture Festival late show Saturday, April 5. Follow this link for the full Moisture Festival schedule. Tickets available at Brown Paper Tickets.

October 24, 2007

JJPL at SeaCompression

Nathan is rolling out a very special version of the "Jesus Light" at SeaCompression, next to the Cirque de Flambe chill space.

August 4, 2007

Photos from the lab

The JJPL webmaster paid a visit to the Johnny Jetpack Propulsion Labs on an early August weekend and got a few photos of Nathan preparing for Burning Man.

July 25, 2007

Johnny Jetpack at Burning Man

Johnny Jetpack, in association with Cirque de Flambe, will bring several projects to Black Rock City this year. As you amble along the Esplanade (the Cirque camp is at Esplanade & 5:00), look for:

June 11, 2007

Johnny Jetpack on YouTube

Cirque de Flambe video of Johnny's Flaming Anus of Hell

Cordless Drill Breakdancing

March 15, 2006

Giant Ferocious Man-Eating Squirrel Returns

Nathan's vicious squirrel will wreak havoc at the Moisture Festival - the 7:30 show Saturday April 1 (Moisture Festival schedule and tickets). Photos from last year's show available here.

October 1, 2005

Launch #48 at Gasworks Park

Johnny will take to the skies Sat. Oct. 1, 2005, at 3:00 pm at Gasworks Park. Arrive early to ensure a good viewing spot.

October 27, 2004


Johnny Enema will perform Sun. Oct. 31 at Trolloween this year, one block west of the rocket on 35th as part of "the haunt" of Trolloween. An exact time is hard to say but most likely around 9:00 pm, depending on the timing of "the haunt." If it rains hard, then Mr. Enema will be performing under the bridge next to the Troll.

The image at right depicts Johnny Enema. Not pictured is the bamboo pole and soda bottle that propels the water upward. The soda bottle is filled with dry ice which when subjected to 5 atmospheres of pressure melts into liquid CO2. An attached pressure hose is used to increase the pressure until the plastic soda bottle ruptures. This occurs at the bottom of a large steel carbon dioxide tank that has the top cut off and is filled with water. The resulting underwater explosion launches the water into the sky in a huge tree-shaped splash. The fast-moving stream of water will carry any lightweight object (such as Johnny) over 100 feet into the sky.

August 29, 2004

Burning Man

Nathan will be at Burning Man again this year in the Cirque de Flambé camp with four new acts:

  1. Johnny Enema - dry-ice-powered grey-water disposal on the playa, featuring Johnny Jetpack himself. Wed. 2:00, exact location TBA.
  1. Folding Bird - 8-foot wingspan, 6-foot long bird launched out of a steel tube, glides back to earth on flaming wings.
  1. Anus of Hell - a six-foot-diameter rapidly rotating ring of fire, like a Ferris wheel engulfed in intense flames.
  1. Liquid Nitrogen Cloud Chamber - towed around on a trailer.

June 26, 2004

Johnny Jetpack Launch

Johnny finally took to the skies again June 26 after a year-long break. It was a good launch into beautiful blue skies and featured a new liquid nitrogen feature.

April 28, 2003

Photos of April 27 Johnny Jetpack Launch

John Cornicello took the shots in this photo album of Launch #40.

Dec. 6, 2002

Johnny Jetpack Launch Video

Thanks to Adrian for sending this clip of an April 1999 Johnny Jetpack launch (141 KB).

Dec. 5, 2002

Nathan profiled in Seattle P-I

"For the past two months, Nathan Arnold has been obsessed with building a giant, 'vicious, man-eating' squirrel.

"'I've always wanted to make this giant squirrel. Why has no one made a giant squirrel?' Arnold wonders out loud. 'They make gorillas and bears. Why not a squirrel?'

"Few people live in a state of childlike wonder or tap into their imaginative powers like Arnold, a mason, oil painter, performance artist and the head of 'Johnny Jetpack Propulsion Laboratories'. . ."

Read the whole story, Johnny Jetpack's creator pursues bliss in some off-the-wall directions, at the P-I.

March 16, 2002

Johnny Jetpack Launch #39 Photos

Larry took the shots in this photo album of Launch #39.


Johnny Jetpack is a 7 and a half foot tall puppet/dummy attached to a giant water rocket backpack. When launched, he obtains heights of 70-90 feet and speeds of 50+ miles per hour in about one second. He then plummets earthward in a dramatic fashion. This plummet includes a complex system of "parachute for Jetpack", pilot ejection, screams and flailing limbs, and on-board explosion with head detachment. The crowd is then welcomed forward to the safety line to inspect the wreckage.

Height: 7 feet 6 inches

Weight of whole assembly:
    Empty - 14 pounds
    Full - 36 pounds

Pilot weight: 6 pounds

Jetpack is made from 17 two liter soda bottles, surgical tubing with nylon fabric sleeving with numerous other fittings. Powered by any compressed gas from 80 to 120 psi.

Acceleration is zero to 50 miles per hour in about one second, giving Johnny the distinct "Lynch appearance" (head way down) soon after liftoff.

Uses three gallons of any liquid in .75 seconds. Liquids often colored with food coloring for "Johnny ColorPack" effect.

A system of pneumatic devices causes his arms to flail for up to one minute.

There is a double "pilot and canopy" parachute system designed exclusively for the Jetpack. For the pilot there is a complex pilot detachment and ejection system as well as an on-board "instant mess®" explosion. This explosion successfully causes at-altitude head detachment.

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