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After A Hairy 477 MPH Ride, North American Eagle Land-Speed Racing Team Heads Home Empty-Handed

Posted October 13, 2016 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: land speed record racing

Despite a series of setbacks that kept the North American Eagle land-speed racing team from setting records during its most recent outing – and despite one run that nearly ended the team’s racing goals altogether – team members said they intend to regroup and continue their pursuit of the ultimate land-speed record.

Though the team – headed by Ed Shadle and using a decommissioned Lockheed F-104 Starfighter – wasn’t aiming for the world record of 763.035 MPH during its late September test session at Alvord Desert in southeastern Oregon, it did have two other records in mind: first, the women’s land-speed record of 512 MPH, set by Kitty O’Neil in 1976 at Alvord; and second, the single-engine record of 633 MPH, set by Richard Noble in the Thrust II in 1983 at the Black Rock Desert. Shadle would pilot the Eagle for the latter, while racer and media personality Jessi Combs would pilot for the former.

While a test run of the engine in July and a larger racing surface than in years past (10.5 miles) showed promise for the team, steering issues plagued the Eagle’s passes over the desert. Shadle cut short his initial shakedown run due to steering issues, as he did with a second 360 MPH shakedown run. A plane flying in parts to fix the issue ended up crashing on a nearby dry lake bed, though the pilot was unharmed and able to deliver the parts for Combs’s run the next day.

Apparently 477 miles per hour just isn't anywhere near fast enough.

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#1

Re: After A Hairy 477 MPH Ride, North American Eagle Land-Speed Racing Team Heads Home Empty-Handed

10/13/2016 1:14 PM

I wouldn't say empty-handed, after all, they took home a lot experience and new found knowledge. I think they'll be back.

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#2

Re: After A Hairy 477 MPH Ride, North American Eagle Land-Speed Racing Team Heads Home Empty-Handed

10/14/2016 6:47 AM

How about an attempt on the "driven by a person weighting less than 150 lb. on a Thursday afternoon?"

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#3

Re: After A Hairy 477 MPH Ride, North American Eagle Land-Speed Racing Team Heads Home Empty-Handed

10/14/2016 10:01 AM

LSR attempts are now done with jet-powered cars. I wonder if anyone is working on the record for wheel-driven cars? I think it is around 400 MPH. Is there some technical issue(s) that make further progress unlikely? Or is it just a matter of money and time?

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