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by Michael Hines
A jet-powered school bus may not be able to take 50 kids to school, but at least it comes with seat belts.
Once you reach the age where you're old enough to drive yourself to school/capable of walking to school without being kidnapped everything changes. Riding the bus to school becomes worse and worse the older you get. That being said, there's probably more than a few high school seniors who wouldn't mind going for a ride in one of these seriously awesome school buses. The coolness of an electric school bus is debatable, but if "21 Jump Street" taught us anything, it's that today's kids are all about saving the Earth.
Parents around the country can rest easy knowing that the Topsy-Turvy Bus is not actually meant to transport students. Instead, the bus was created to educate people on America's budget crisis, with pie charts showing government spending placed on the stop signs and government spending facts painted onto the inside of the roof. The bus was built by Tom Kennedy along with 10 other artists and the project was commissioned by Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's.
The fact that a jet-powered school bus exists is a testament to how inventive Americans truly are. The aptly named School Time Jet Bus was built by IndyBoys and is powered by a 42,000-horsepower GE J-79 jet engine taken from an F4 Phantom. The bus can seat three people and can reportedly go as fast as 350 mph. Oh, and it also shoots flames.
Trans Tech Bus has created an all-electric school bus with a range higher than that of the Nissan Leaf. The eTrans has a top speed of 50 mph, a range of 100 to 130 miles and the capacity to seat 42 students. The bus is powered by a 120-kW (161hp) electric motor that gets its juice from a pair of 278-volt lithium-ion battery packs. Schools around the country have already begun taking deliveries of the eTrans.
The Windsled is a school bus on skis that is used to get the children on the ice-locked island of La Pointe, Wisconsin, to and from school every winter. The bus is used when the ice surrounding the island is too thin to drive on and too hazard-filled to operate a ferry in. The Windsled was built by La Pointe locals Arnie and Ronald Nelson and weighs in at 9,000 pounds and covers 336 square feet.
Ken Nelson's "Cool Bus" is a one-of-a-kind drag racer built to look like a school bus. The Cool Bus' body was handcrafted out of aluminum and fiber glass by Nelson himself. The bus gets it power from a rear-mounted, alcohol-fueled, blown and injected big block Chevrolet engine that puts out 1000hp. At 20 feet the Cool Bus is thought to be the longest wheelbased wheelstander ever built.