American team one step closer to challenging land speed record

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.


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