• Jun 23rd 2006 at 2:06PM
  • 9

Two weeks ago, the North American Eagle took to the El Mirage desert for some shake-down runs as it prepares to challenge for the world land-speed record. Unfortunately, Mother Nature interfered and rain limited the team to only one run. With a vehicle based on the fuselage of a Lockheed F-104 Starfighter that has been fitted with custom suspension and solid aluminum wheels, the team looks to take back the record from UK-based Thrust SSC (which, in this author's opinion, was one of the most evil-looking competition vehicles of all time).

Burning up to 160 gallons/minute of a 50/50 mixture of biodiesel and kerosene, the GE LM-1500 turbojet engine (a derivative of the famed J-79) will provide an estimated maximum 22,000 lbs of thrust. That should be sufficient to push the dart-shaped vehicle to over 800 MPH in 3.5 miles - enough speed to beat Andy Green's 1997 run at 763 MPH.

[Source: Landspeed.com]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      so is it american.. or NORTH american... as the team is half canadian... Dam you ignorant Yanks...
      • 9 Years Ago
      Matt: Building a dam won't do anything, you silly Canuck!
      • 9 Years Ago
      Looking at how much work the ThrustSSC team had to put into analysing supersonic shockwaves at ground level and how to deal with them, I'm not sure that slapping a Starfighter fuselage onto some girders is really the right way of doing things. Where exactly is the necessary downforce coming from?
      • 9 Years Ago
      At the sort of speeds Thrust SSC reached, the supersonic shockwave was building up underneath the car. Since the last thing you want at ~700mph is the nose going up (remember what happened to Donald Campbell at ~300...) you need downforce to counter the upward pressure.
      • 9 Years Ago
      "Yes, you want to keep the vehicle on the ground, but why would you need downforce? Gravity works pretty good..."

      I'd imagine at 800mph gravity gets a bit vague.
      • 9 Years Ago
      That thing gets more MPG than a Hummer!
      • 9 Years Ago
      "Where exactly is the necessary downforce coming from?"

      Necessary? Necessary for what? You need enough weight on the wheels(solid aluminum billet) to keep the vehicle from sliding around too much...but those wheels aren't supplying power to the ground, and you don't need a lot of cornering authority.

      Yes, you want to keep the vehicle on the ground, but why would you need downforce? Gravity works pretty good...
      • 9 Years Ago

      who wants downforce on a speed record attempt?

      My guess is you want zero lift and...
      zero downforce
      • 9 Years Ago
      "I'd imagine at 800mph gravity gets a bit vague."

      I'd imagine you're crazy. As a matter of fact, I'd imagine that gravity isn't at all related to velocity. And I imagine I'm pretty confident in that assertion.