- Jan 2, 2012
California man hopes to break 2,000-mph speed barrier
The human race has a long history of itching to push the land-speed envelope ever farther, along with a similarly storied line of naysayers waving the thou-shalt-not flag. One man in Apple Valley, California has taken it upon himself not only to beat the current land-speed record of 763.035 mph, but to demolish it. Waldo Stakes is building a land-speed car he figures should be able to reach 2,000 mph.
Once again, for clarity's sake, that's two-thousand miles per hour.
If you've been paying attention, you likely know the Bloodhound SSC is aiming for a somewhat more modest 1,000 mph. And while that beast has an entire platoon of engineers, years of research and $15 million behind it, Stakes and his Sonic Wind Land Speed Research Vehicle are a bit more homegrown. The man makes his wages as a general contractor and walked away from formal education mid-way through a stint in community college in 1974.
But, while he hasn't followed the traditional engineering route, the man has been studying the principles behind land speed vehicles since he was a kid. More importantly, this isn't some half-cooked pipe dream. Stakes has already amassed two XLR99 rocket engines the likes of which powered the infamous X-15 experimental plane. All hail the mad scientists of the world. Head over to Popular Mechanics for a great look at his progress.