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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No...

...it's a car that used to be a F-104 Lockheed Starfighter.

Well, if you don't have the budget to design a supersonic car from scratch, why not use an old jet-fighter? First find one in a junk-yard, saw off the wings and make sure you've got a streamlined shell. Then refurbish the engine, and add steel wheels. Hey presto, a hopefully record-braking jet car.

After all, someone has already done that tedious (and expensive, what with all those wind tunnel tests) aerodynamics work for you - and proven that the engine and aircraft can reach more than Mach 1. Now for the team to raise the money they need to try things out down at Black Rock Sands...

Land speed record on a budget, anyone?


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 13th, 2005 07:42 am (UTC)
The problem with that is that the F104 wasn't supersonic at zero altitude.

It also needs even more thrust to go supersonic on the ground, because you don't have the same space to accelerate in as you do in when airborne. You not only need to get there, you need to do it through thicker air, with an engine that wasn't optimised for that altitude, with aerodynamic interference from the ground, and to do it more quickly than a plane.
Mar. 13th, 2005 10:17 am (UTC)
This kind of thing is why I think "land speed record" should go to a vehicle that propels itself by pushing on the land, not on the air, else you can just put wheels on an aircraft and Bob's your uncle.

This is just a bid for "air speed record at local zero altitude".
Mar. 13th, 2005 01:15 pm (UTC)
I think Donald Campbell still holds that one at just over 400 mph. BICBW.

<checks> Bob Summers, in Goldenrod, at 409 mph, 12 Nov 1965.

Mar. 13th, 2005 11:05 am (UTC)
Black Rock Sands? In Wales? Near Morfa Bychan and Porthmadoc? Aren't there too many sand dunes there?

(or were you thinking of White Sands missile range in New Mexico?)
Mar. 13th, 2005 11:09 am (UTC)
Ah, the Black Rock Desert playa. That makes more sense!
Mar. 13th, 2005 11:20 am (UTC)
Confusion caused by the fact that early land speed record attempts were run on Black Sands...
Mar. 13th, 2005 12:38 pm (UTC)
Not _much_ more sense. Black Rock is a great place to launch amateur rockets (as is regularly done), but it's a rough old surface compared to the big salt flats.
Mar. 13th, 2005 03:23 pm (UTC)
I hope that they've taken out the ejector seat. The original one ejected Downwards!
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 13th, 2005 04:01 pm (UTC)
Well, they're not making them anymore, so sooner or later someone's going to get the last Starfighter.
Mar. 13th, 2005 11:28 pm (UTC)
Mar. 13th, 2005 11:30 pm (UTC)
Pardon me, but where is he planning to get his down force from? I can't see any control surfaces left that will keep that left over widow-maker on the ground when he hits a pebble.
Mar. 14th, 2005 01:56 am (UTC)
scrapheap challenge, anyone? ;-)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )