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Our project's goal - break the existing record of 763 mph (1,228 km/h) by reaching 800 mph (1,287 km/h)!

We invite you to...
JOIN US IN OUR QUEST!

NAE™ Project: 800 Club Newsletter

Featured Sponsors

Caveman Coffee
David Clark
Everett Steel

Want to read a story version of this project's progress; the ups and downs of how it all came about? Then use this link to check it out.


September 9, 2011

Dear NAE Fans & Club Members,

If you've been following these newsletters here, you'll understand what I'm about to explain. If not, then I recommend reading the previous entry first, before reading this one in order to have the necessary background.

Anytime anyone conducts a project which is unique, or out of the ordinary, there are going to be ups & downs, good & bad, ebs & flows in the life of that project. This one's no exception.

Due to the extra efforts of Ed & Keith, their connections with key people over the years, and a chance meeting of the right individuals, plans to run our test session in southern California's high desert have surprisingly materialized. Plans are now being made for a test session in mid-October. Initial plans are to check various system changes which have been implemented to the car over the past two years and conduct some preliminary tests for data research. Our hopes are to ultimately run in the speed range of 500 - 600mph, and, if it works out for our woman driver from Texas -Leslie Porterfield - to attend, and initial runs give her confidence to go for it, she'll go for the women's Guiness World Record for women in the mid 500mph range.

With lots of tasks to complete before packing up for the trip south, the team is busily working on completing things over the next several weeks. It will be our intention to post updates on the test session from our test session site while there, so be watching for those during the middle to end of October.


June 27, 2011

Dear NAE Fans & Club Members,

A lot has happened over the past several months. Some of it is disappointing, while some of it is extremely encouraging.

First, work on the NAE continues making progress toward our ultimate goal - breaking the world land speed record by going 800 mph. Most importantly our Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) research is making headway for determining how to best cover with some type of fairing the rear suspension beams & axles which are exposed beyond the fuselage of the former jet fighter's body. This will be critical in reducing unwanted drag at transonic & supersonic speeds. It's also going to be critical in mitigating instability caused by turbulence's generated by those non-aerodynamic shapes that make up those suspension beams & axles.

Second, work to acquire and finalize a location for running the car for our upcoming fall test sessions in the transonic speed range - 550 to 700 mph - are proving to be frustrating. As you may recall, previous test runs at Black Rock desert in northwest Nevada over the last few years have revealed that it is not in reasonable condition to use for high speeds due its poor surface. So, we took measures to approach the necessary authorities and go through the required channels to use a facility in southern California's high desert. This seemed promising until we learned that the bureaucrats wanted a high fee in order to gain access despite meeting all safety requirements. Without the funds to pay, we moved on to plan "C". Early indications were that the permit process would go well for getting clearance at a remote lake bed in central Nevada, only to learn recently that the authorities involved are not willing to approve our request for use there. Thus, we are considering our options and trying to get a place for testing which is adequate for the speeds we need to run this coming fall. More on this, as we learn of new developments.

Third, most promising and exciting, is the announcement of our newest team member/co-driver Leslie Porterfield. For more information on her background, please see our June 10th update which is currently on our web site's front page. Her role will be to drive the NAE™ to a new & faster women's land speed record which is currently only in the low 300s, set by Craig Breedlove's wife, Lee, back in the 1960s. Our plans are for Leslie to attempt this record this coming fall, but we have to get the location settled first. We are confident she'll add lots of interest and a whole new dimension to our efforts to bring attention and respect for land speed racing to the general public.

What most people don't realize about this level of racing is the complexity of various issues related to successfully building and running a vehicle capable of speeds faster than your average commercial jet liner travels with its passengers at an altitude of 35,000 feet. This is where scientific knowledge and application becomes very serious business to deal with the physics involved with such speeds in an effort to increase our chances of success. Naturally, such research & development create what are commonly called "spin-offs". Our magnetic brakes used on the rear wheels during deceleration are one example which may likely benefit untold others in the future.

As is evident, this sport, and the efforts which are part of the experience of going where few even dare to dream, has its share of ups & downs, challenges & benefits. Despite the setbacks described here, along with the many others which we've encountered over the many years this project has existed, we are confident that we will have our day at taking a shot at the record soon. Should our efforts prove successful, we'll then be able to enjoy the benefits which follow.

Thank you for your continued support!

March 10, 2011

Dear NAE Club Members & Fans,

Yes, it's been a while since a newsletter's been sent out, but that's due partly to slower than expected developments and our inability to produce the fees required for our next test session. The purpose of this newsletter is to catch you up to speed on where the project's at and why we need your help in getting to our next step in the process of going for the record.

Last year we didn't conduct a test session we wanted to have because the most favorable venue, Edwards AFB, is charging us $23,000. We've cleared all the hurdles in order to run there, but sources of funding have not been forthcoming as we hope they might. However, this year, we've got more time to gather the funds together and that's why we need your help.

Here's the deal... if each club member and fan went to our project's gear page and donated at least $25.00, then we would have enough to pay the useage fee and complete the next level of testing. In order to let our club members and fans know what our donation level has reached, we're posting our donation guage on the site's front page. Your contribution to the fund will make it possible for us to get one step closer to going for the record.

Please donate what you can today!


December 12, 2009

Another year has gone by and yet the project presses on. The year was marked with many high and low points for the team.

In January the team conducted an engine test in very cold weather. February saw Slim Lawson, the team's "patriarch" go up in a Cessna 150 for his annual flight on his 89th birthday. In March the team presented at a SAMPE conference at the Museum of Flight and met the Founder, President & CEO of Geomagic, one of our many sponsors, at a conference in Georgia the next day. At the end of March, Slim Lawson passed away of congestive heart failure.

April saw the project featured in the FlyRC magazine and a media blitz on FOX News, a presentation at the COE conference in Seattle, an article in the New York Times, and more airings of the Megabuilders - World's Fastest Wheels documentary which has played hundreds of time in nearly every country around the globe.

In May, three different classroom presentations were given around the northwestern region of the U.S. June saw Vicki Cruse visit the team's hangar to check out the project. Our hope was that she would accept our invitation to be the female driver to set the women's record driving the NAE™. She would join us at the test session in July at the Black Rock desert.

June was spent feverishly getting last minute task done before loading up the "beast" for our trip to Nevada. July saw a week's time spent in the Black Rock desert trying to find a stretch of lake bed surface long & smooth enough to achieve our goal speeds. However, this proved impossible. Vicki Cruse was present, but did not get a chance to do much more than sit in the seat.

In late July Ed & Keith were guests of Col. Kittinger at the Aviation Hall of Fame annual induction. There, they met multiple astronauts of the Apollo program, including Neil Armstrong. Ed also got to participate in an airshow stunt at Daytona. August saw more group presentations for the CAP, but the shocker which devastated the team was the loss of Vicki Cruse while she was conducting acrobatic maneuvers for an airshow competition in England.

September had the team gathering for their annual summer picnic early in the month. Along with a few magazine articles, the team made an appearance at the Redding, California Air Show at the invitation of the city's Chamber of Commerce. The crowd and show was great, but the temperature was extreme; in the low 100s F.

October was mostly consumed with work parties, but the project was featured in three more publications this month. November had the team & car back at the Black Rock desert with the hope that the surface conditions would be better for our needs to set speeds of just under transonic, or about 550mph. Sadly, again, this was not to be. However, Per Wimmer was able to take the car for a test run to get a feel for it and came out of the cockpit with a grin that didn't come off for several hours afterwards.

The last month of the year was filled with presentations at several different locations. A senior citizen's rest home, a school in Abbotsford, B.C. and Boeing Everett's engineers filled the calendar. The team also conducted an engine test which revealed that afterburner issues still need addressing.

Next year's plans include getting CFD work finished, rear suspension covered for transonic speeds, and getting clearance with the BLM of Nevada to get an access road worked so that our semi-truck can haul the car to our backup test/record site.


September 19, 2009

Last July the team took the "beast" down to the Black Rock desert in northwest Nevada to "stretch her legs". However, several unexpected circumstances presented themselves which made it very difficult to achieve our main goal of reaching just under transonic speeds. This was due mainly to a lack of sufficiently good surface on which to run the car safely.

The car has been sitting in the hangar for several weeks now. During this time issues which we became aware of at our test session in July were addressed. The car was also mapped once again to correct some minor issues with getting a proper 3D image of the car for computational fluid dynamics analysis work.

At the end of this month a small contingent of the team will be traveling south with the car to put it on display at the Redding Air Show. If you live in, or near, Northern California, you'll definately want to make it to this show. If you do, stop by, introduce yourself and chat with us about our project. We'll be glad to talk.

We've appeared in RC Flyer, Popular Mechanics & National Geographic magazine over the summer and have a few others that will be coming out over the fall, so be watching for them on the news stands.

We now have tentative plans to return to Black Rock in November with a "skeleton crew" to conduct test runs for a few days to verify the work we've done recently and see if the surface has improved at all; hopefully enough to reach the speeds we'd like to achieve and be able to collect some data for CFD analysis work which needs to be done.


June 7, 2009

Dear 800 Club Members,

Here's the June newsletter document (MS Word) for those who did not have it emailed to them.


May 2, 2009

Dear 800 Club Members,

After a brief hiatus, our newsletter is back in two formats for your reading pleasure:

PDF (643KB)
Word (5.7MB)

January 30, 2009

Dear 800 Club Members,

Is it possible that one can get too caught up in a project, be too close, to not see how it's affecting your ability to keep a balanced and objective perspective on that project? I pose this question because I've just gone through an emotional "roller coaster" with news of our efforts to arrange for testing this coming spring.

Initially things are looking good and we were told it's a "Go". Then, news arrives that some new person who's been brought into the chain of communication knows nothing about us and is treating us as though all previous work and agreements is non-existent and he is requiring us to cough up funds the project doesn't have to run at this facility. Then, a week later, news arrives that things are back to normal and the "new person" has been brought up to speed on the situation; fees no longer apply and progress is back on track. Can you say "phew!"?

Then, at the same time, news is shared that a commercial production company is interested in having us do some video shoots in March for a commercial to be used in Japan. If we can swing this right, we should be able negotiate a decent remuneration for this, leave the car down at our desert ranch location, then return the following month to conduct mid-range tests. If all goes well, this will work out even better than anticipated because the time and logistics of getting crew there and back will be less problematic; especially for our test session in April.

A new sponsor, which will be a critical component of allowing the car to venture into the transonic range of speeds, is taking its sweet time at approving our announcement for the site. This is mostly due to the fact that they are so busy, they say there's not enough time to proofread the document already sent to them. Oh well, I'm beginning to wonder if we're getting close to qualifying for a close second to Job in the Bible.

As you may have noticed from a few of our recent updates, the educational outreach program has been seeing more action in our area. Jon is currently trying to contact various business and educational organizations to pursue acquiring funding to support a broader outreach program. Given that he's retiring from teaching this spring, Jon would like to expand this program to colleges as well, but needs funding to pay for travel expenses. If you've got any suggestions on who or what to contact, Jon welcomes your ideas.


December 30, 2008

Dear 800 Club Members,

As we leave 2008 behind and roll into 2009, here are a few notes about last year. First, we actually have made significant progress toward announcing a date when we may go after the record. Second, we now have another competitor. Yes, it's Richard Noble and Andy Green, just like it was back in 1997 when we were fooling around with the American Eagle One. This time, we feel like we really have a good chance of beating them to the mark. You can never under estimate your competitors and you just never know who is lurking in the shadows (Rosco?) Even with out the competitors pushing us, this project is technically difficult and financially draining, but you cannot take shortcuts.

We have a great deal of technical support from companies that are helping us with just about everything we need but, of course, we are still struggling to find money. Every test session costs about $20,000 for travel expenses, lodging for the team members, fuel, insurance, permits, porta-potties and all sorts of other things that add up. We've conducted a total of 8 test sessions and 23 runs to date.

Our next testing session will be met with great expectations of exceeding 400 then 500 with a speed limit of 575. We imposed this speed limit until we gather data from our onboard data acquisition system and matched that to the CFD analysis. If we feel we are on target, we will begin planning for our high speed runs with date and location yet to be determined. By that time, we will really be in need of a title sponsor to help us finance the run for the record.

The entire team is champing at the bit (horse talk) to get rolling and show the world what we're made of. The innovation and tenacity of the team is an example of the good ol' North American "Can Do" attitude. The car is built, we have a fantastic team and we're so close we can just smell victory.

Ed Shadle


December 15, 2008

Dear 800 Club Members,

With the seasonal holidays fast approaching the team gathered once again last Saturday morning with their spouses, significant others, and family members to enjoy company and a morning meal together, as well as listen to and see the year's accomplishments. Keith announced that our original show - "MegaBuilders: World's Fastest Wheels", shot over four years ago now - has now aired over 100 times in the U.S. alone.

While only one test session took place this year (it happened just before the fuel prices peaked in July and was very costly for team members who could make it) many other areas of progress were accomplished. Being at the end of June, our test session experienced some difficulties with the searing heat of 115° F. with both on board computers and start cart. Despite the difficult circumstances, we managed to get the NAE™ up to 400 mph.

Since that session we have bee working on modifying system which still needed addressing. Progress has been made in areas of deceleration, electronics and communications - both ground & ground-to-air.

Some new sponsors with needed materials and support were added to our ever growing list and it is hoped that a financial backer will materialize soon. Work is still being done on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and we are beginning to design a modular system for fairing over the rear suspension in anticipation of taking the vehicle into the transonic speeds next spring.

Plans are looking good for a test session next spring at a private and undisclosed location for the 500 mph speed range.

Again, we wish to thank those dedicated followers of our project for their support and interest. It is our that this coming year will be the one in which we actually "Git 'er done!"


November 15, 2008

Dear 800 Club Members,

Last weekend the North American Eagle™ was on display at the Motorsports 2008 Classic Car Show in the Tacoma Dome. Over three days, most of the team took turns talking with those who stopped by to look and ask questions about something they'd not seen the likes of before.

People from near and far came to see the collection of beautifully restored classic cars, dragsters, hot rods and hydroplanes, with the NAE™ as the headliner; smack dab in your face as you walked through the doors. There was one individual who, upon seeing her displayed in all her glory, had a strange feeling about it.

After talking with a team member about the history of the car, he went home and dug out his dad's briefcase from his days of working for GE; the car's engine manufacturer. He found an old B&W of his dad kneeling with a bunch of other men in front of "Queenie II"; the nickname given to tail number 56-0763. Upon going onto our web site and digging into the classroom's history of the aircraft, he found the very same picture on the site that he had in his hand. His dad had been a crew member on her in the sixties with another gentleman who'd also worked on her and given us a copy of the photo two years earlier that members of the crew had gotten. His "gut feeling" about what he'd seen on display in the show had proved correct.

After some email communications, it was learned that before 56-0763 became a chase plane for several test aircraft, it was a J-79 test platform for GE and was given the nickname of "Queenie II" with artwork of four playing cards showing an Ace, King, Queen & Jack. Which suit is not known for sure, but it doesn't really matter. The fact that our project continues to connect with more and more people involved with her past, and the details learned about this great aircraft, is enough.

Several potentially positive contacts were also made over the duration of the show that we are hopeful more good news will be forthcoming that will help us toward our goal of going for the record. We encourage you to visit the site to read the updates and view the array of photos in the Photo Gallery that will be posted very soon.

Also, we ask that you consider purchasing an item or two of NAE™ Gear for a friend, or family member, for the coming holiday season; they make great gifts. Thank you for your continued support and kind words.


October 15, 2008

Dear 800 Club Members,

As usual, there's a lot of things happening with the project; more sponsors, appearances, presentations and work being done on the car.

Ed, Keith and Steve are giving a presentation about the project's innovations at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA next week. They will also have a booth at the 2008 Microsoft® Innovation Management Forum to answer questions.

Ed has been working with the British Steam Car Team to help them conduct test runs for their attempt on the World Land Speed Record for Steam Cars.

Bernard is completing a brand new mobilizer that will allow us to move the Eagle on asphalt with the aluminum wheels still mounted on the rear axle. This will make test sessions at Edwards AFFTC easier to do when we transport the car from the playa to the asphalt taxiways.

A new radio from Spencer Aircraft has been installed which will make our communications with photo and spotter aircraft more reliable.

Of course, as you already know, the Eagle will be the starring attraction in the upcoming Tacoma Dome MotorSports 2008 Auto Show, Nov. 7th, 8th & 9th, sponsored by Walt's Radiator & Muffler, Schucks, the News Tribune, & America's Car Museum, with proceeds going to MaryBridge Children's Hospital.


September 22, 2008

Dear 800 Club Members,

Several things have been happening over the past couple of weeks, while others are slowly developing. Here's the explanation.

Recently, if you've not read the latest update, both Keith and Ed (the co-owners) ended up having to have their appendix taken out within a month of each other.

On the matter of the slower developing issues, perhaps I've not been as specific on our site about some issues as many would like, but this is only because of the reality we've encountered over the years of thinking something will happen, only to learn later that it would never happen after all. Thus, it is necessary to guard certain possible developments until they become a reality. Plus, as time goes by, there are circumstances which force our hand to change what we believed we'd do.

For instance, while I have said that Black Rock desert would be our venue of choice, it now appears that this will NOT be the case. We do not anticipate running at the Black Rock desert this fall, or ever for that matter, for two major reasons; one, we have yet to acquire a financial backer which would cover the costs of camping out for so long (and all the implications which come with that scenario), and two, since the conditions of Black Rock continue to be poor for running at high speeds (until mother nature decides to rain enough through the winter months to create a better surface come fall season than exists now) we won't be running there.

However, an alternate location is being investigated and, when certain "hurdles" are cleared and more certainty develops whereby we can confidently announce our intentions, I'll be more than eager to let you know.

Because of these factors - coupled with the fact that we've still got plenty of preliminary work to get done (CFD and rear suspension fairing work) - we plan to make a local appearance at an auto show, then possibly do some mid-December testing in southern CA at a private location where we'll have a longer distance for more mid-speed test runs above 400mph. Watch the site for announcements and details for this test.

Should this time span over this winter generate a corp. sponsorship, you can be assured we will then be in a better position to go forward with announcing our intentions prominently on our site as to when and where we'd actually be "going for the record".


September 9, 2008

Dear 800 Club Members,

This has been one of those periods in the project where things have slowed down considerably with little activity at the hangar.

Ed, Keith & Cam went to Speedweek at Bonneville the middle of August and the team held its annual team BBQ at Gino's at the end of the month. Images from both events were added to the photo gallery for your viewing enjoyment.

The team will now spend the next few months finishing up modification work on the car to get it ready for our next scheduled appearance in the Tacoma Dome in November.


August 3, 2008

Dear 800 Club Members,

After a brief "vacation" the team resumed work on "the beast" yesterday at the hangar. More modifications are being made, as the last test session revealed some issues which needed attention. That's why conducting test sessions are so necessary. I guess one could say we have the advantage of going into our "backyard" and conducting as many as necessary over time, so we don't have to spend weeks scrambling before time runs out and we have to go home, like the current record holders did.

Things are getting pretty exciting with the project regarding some major new sponsors and new agreements to move the project closer to its goal. These will be announced in the coming weeks. So, be sure to revisit the site to learn what's new.

One new development that can be divulged is that we have a new model, Ananda Hart. She is a vocal artist with the rock group "Deja Groove". She will be showing off our t-shirts, hats, polo shirts and jackets on our store's gear page soon. You won't want to miss checking these image out! For a tease, check out our August 2nd update page. We want to once again thank those of you who've already purchased our gear to help support the expenses of our project. If you have yet to get your own gear, we urge you to visit the store to see what we have to offer.

Be sure to visit our Appearances Schedule page to see what's on our project agenda for the future. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you don't want to miss the chance to see the NAE™ in person at the November Auto Show to be held in the Tacoma Dome. We will be the premier attraction there.

Remember to visit our Mystery Photo page as well. Each month a new image is posted for a fun challenge to our fans.

June 30, 2008

Dear 800 Club Members,

 
Our latest test session at El Mirage lake bed was a success; we achieved our goal of reaching 400 MPH! First, we want to thank all of you who donated generously to our test session; while it wasn't all that we needed, every little bit made a big difference. Thank you!
 
The first few days were an exercise in patience; along with the new equipment we wanted to try on the car, there were some unexpected delays due to support equipment not wanting to function properly. Our first test run was on the north side of El Mirage with a course that used four miles of distance. However, after running about 250 MPH over a rough mid-section and Ed getting jostled all over the cockpit, we decided to relocated the course. Fortunately we had Darryl from Blaine who had a mobile GPS unit that allowed us to lay a course within a few hours as straight as could be over a more smooth course. This course was over the SCTA's southern portion, and because our front metal wheel tore up the surface too much, Ed decided to switch it out for the aircraft tire we'd run on in the past so as to not ruin their course.
 
The next day we did a 300 MPH run on this better course and tested a high speed chute which deployed nicely. Then, knowing it was our last shot, Ed poured on the coals and lit the afterburner for a couple of seconds up to the two mile of the 3.5 mile course and got her up to 400 MPH. I was standing at the two mile point and even after he cut off the power to the engine, the force generated by the afterburner boosted the car's speed up another 100 MPH; he was still accelerating into the third mile and he was really moving. The only problem was, the parachutes failed to deploy and Ed had to bring her to a full stop with just the magnetic brakes on the rear wheels. He stopped only 50 yards from the rough area ahead and had used up all 3.5 miles of the course. With this development, Ed now intends to have a manual cable back-up for the chutes installed next.
 
We're still recouping from this trip to even think about what's next. But, when we do make a decision about it, we'll let you know. We invite you to visit our site to view the new photo gallery pages which will be posted soon, along with an eventual video clip of the 400 MPH run sometime soon.
 
If you have not yet purchased your NEA Gear (shirts, hats, posters and photos) we invite you to check out our online store to see what might interest you to help support our project further in reaching the ultimate goal; 800 MPH!

June 3, 2008

Dear 800 Club Members,

Over a month has past since my last message. Several things have happened since then, so a lot of news to share.

For those who've been monitoring our progress via our web site, you already know that we had a CBS production crew out to the hangar last month to shoot a segment for the U.S. Discovery Channel. This is a first because in the past the other crews who shot footage for Discovery were from Canada. So, being that it is from within our own country is a major step forward in terms of being given recognition as a project of interest. The show we will be featured in will be coming out next November or about then and will be called "The Future".

Our negotiations to conduct our coming test session at our preferred site fell through, so we've had to opt for our secondary choice nearby. This will now be taking place the last week of this month and our goal is to achieve speeds on our new wheels of 400+ mph if all conditions are conducive to doing so. It is always hoped that we will have all factors involved working in our favor, but it doesn't always work that way when "mother nature" doesn't cooperate. We'll hope it happens as expected. Be watching our site for news and developments, as we'll post them as soon as possible to keep you informed.

Our request for donations to help defray costs of this test session have been coming in from various members, but we still have a need for more help. We thank those of you who've already donated and hope to learn that more has come in over the next few weeks. With the increased cost of fuel, our largest expense is merely transporting the NAE to a test location in the semi-trailer. Again, we thank you for your support to make this "the people's" landspeed project.

April 24, 2008

Dear 800 Club Members,

Almost another month has gone by and the project continues to move along; even if it is at a glacial pace. Our latest positive news was the publication of an article in the Sunday Times of London, England. It was picked up in the European media and we've had requests pouring in for images for their articles.

Work in the CFD and wind tunnel sectors of our research are making slow progress. However, when you're asking for something that normally isn't done, it tends to take a little longer. So, we keep encouraging, asking and hoping.

Negotiations for our next test session are still being finalized. At this late point in time, we may be forced to put it off until June, but the weather would certainly be more conducive to good conditions for running - I hope.

Other offers, one with great media exposure potential, are in the works as well. If that comes through, it will be very hard to miss it, trust me you'll definately see it. Once again, when things are in process and there's no certainty, you can understand how we don't want to announce something, only to have to backtrack later if it doesn't work out. So, at this point, I can only hint and tease about what's coming.

More news when it comes.


April 5, 2008

Dear 800 Club Members,

Wonderful news!!! Last weekend's engine run test has produced very encouraging results.

Steve Wallace and Tim Finley have finally been able to install a voltage regulator that is able to maintain shipboard power at various power settings for the engine and produce the 220 volts needed to run the fuel pumps. This will allow Ed to use them for generating adequate fuel pressure for going into afterburner. This will, of course, reduce the distance needed to get up to speed after a gradual rolling start to avoid "vacuuming" the desert floor.

We'll also be able to retain power for our data acquisition system which will record about 165 various stations from nose to tail on the car. As you may already know, this information (pressure, temperature, vibrations, load, etc.) will be critical in determining whether the car is running safely at various speeds.

Now the team can focus on preparing other needed items on the car for our upcoming test session in May somewhere in southern CA. Our plan is to take her up to the 400 to 500 mph speed range to prove viability as a serious contender for the record attempt; hopefully next fall.

Keep checking our web site for further progress and news. This may well be the season we go for it. Forget the Olympics, and the elections, this is the "real deal".


March 30 , 2008

Dear 800 Club Members,

Well, it's only been a few weeks since my last post, but then there's a lot happening now that we're beyond most of the winter weather and preparations for our May test session are fast approaching.

As some of you who've recently visited the web site have discovered, a new look is being applied to it. So far, response has been favorable. However, being a "one man show" with this site, it takes a long time to be sure everything is just right on each page converted, and even then there'll no doubt be some oversights. Should you find any, please don't hesitate to let me know about it. I encourage and count on my visitors to keep me informed about site issues.

Yet another engine test will be occurring next weekend after this weekend's work party. Swaping out generators will now allow us to verify electrical systems functionality and assurance that we'll have what we expect and need for our May test session.

I want to take this opportunity to remind you of a few interactive programs that have been set up for our fans. One is our NAE™ Gear photos. One of our ways we generate funds is by selling our gear through our on-line store. Another site feature is our monthly mystery photo. We've got a guest book for visitors to send comments to, and even a fan photo gallery for those who've managed to visit our test sessions and submit their own photos they've taken. I encourage you to check these out and utilize them.

Of course, we always are hoping our fans are sharing their excitement about our project with those they know and encouraging them to go to our web site. If you know someone who would possibly be interested in seriously looking at sponsoring our record run, we'd love to hear from you about who that is, with contact information, of course.


March 23 , 2008

Dear 800 Club Members,

Good News! Just as quickly as it decended on us, the threat of litigation consuming valuable time and energy fighting it has disappeared. An agreement was reached and we've each gone our separate ways, never to mingle again.

The team has continued the necessary work at hand and an engine test was scheduled. After going to various locations we thought might work for conducting our engine test, we settled on a location to the north of Seattle and pursued clearing the various hurdles involved in getting permission there from management. Over a period of about a month, communications were favorable and indications were good that we'd be going there.

However, at nearly the last minute (we've been here before, folks) while making confirmation calls alerting the management of our imminent arrival the next day, word came down that we could not conduct the test at that location.

So, a quick few emails and phone calls to the team reorganized us all to the Spanaway Airport right in our backyard where we'd conducted a previous test of the engine. Businesses and residents were alerted to the fact that noise and smoke would be created prior to our test.

After set up and checks were finished, the engine roared to life once again, producing periodic bursts of dense smoke being propelled over onto a major highway to the south. Being an abnormal occurance, some motorists pulled over and got out of their cars to run across the field between the highway and the airport's perimeter fence; thinking there'd been an airplane crash.

One of the team members had to go down to the fence to shoo them off from the danger of being in the blast area of the engine. Ed then went into afterburner briefly to see it would lite, and other system checks were done at the same time.

The team will now finish any remaining changes in order to prepare for a May test run in southern California. When this will actually occur is still uncertain at this time, but the location may not be available to all who wish to come view our test runs.


March 3 , 2008

Dear 800 Club Members,

While it may be an over-used cliche', I'll use it anyway because it seems to fit well with the current circumstances; it's always darkest before the dawn.

With most of the major work done on the car there's been very little for team members to do over the past month. The major work has now shifted to third party support and work in the form of aerodynamic analysis with CFD on computers and getting a wind tunnel model built and putting it into a wind tunnel so that data can be cross analyzed against the computer data.

However, another situation has developed which, until it is resolved satisfactorily, I am not at liberty to give any specifics about. So, I can only give vague remarks about what's happening at this time.

A legal challenge, one which we really had no involvement in, has developed that seems to be out of control and has sucked us into it. With limited resources, we are in a difficult circumstance.

In trying to stay true to our team's motto - challenges can be stepping stones, or stumbling blocks, it's just a matter of how you view them - we are hoping that after all the dust settles, it will fade away and we will acquire a sponsorship and be able to go for the record this coming fall.


January 26, 2008

Dear 800 Club Members,

Work on the Eagle is progressing nicely at this time. Next week our sponsor, FARO, will be out to complete the digital mapping of the car's vertical stabilizer for adding to our CFD analysis being conducted.

An engine test is scheduled to take place, but details are still being ironed out before specifics can be announced. Some interesting variations in the theme of the project will be forthcoming, so be sure to watch the site to find out once we are able to divulge details on what's in store.

As has been said before, it is our earnest hope and intention that this project go for the record this coming fall. Game on!


December 31, 2007

Dear 800 Club Members,

Happy New Year! According to Ed Shadle this year will be it. If our spring test runs accomplish our goals, and achieving mid-range speeds lands us the ellusive sponsor the record attempt needs, we should be going for the record in the fall. Exactly when and where that is will be up to mother nature.

Our past October test session revealed to us that, because of a two year drought in the northwestern region of Nevada, the lakebed surface is not in good enough condition to run at the speeds necessary to take the record. So, if this winter doesn't provide the needed annual flooding of the basin, then an alternate venue will have to be found.

However, there may be some other unexpected surprises that come along between now and then which may put an interesting "spin" on the whole thing. Only time will reveal that.

If you haven't been to our new NAE™ Gear Store, check it out. Each purchase, no matter how small, helps. We also have a donation capability through PayPal® for those who wish to help in that way.


December 13, 2007

Dear 800 Club Members,

My, things got a bit slow there after we returned from our last test session. In fact, the NAE™ has been sitting in the transport trailer since then, only to come out for our appearance at a local sponsor's shopping center at the first of the month.

With work ready to resume on the car over the next several months, the team must first wrap up the year with its annual Christmas Breakfast gathering next weekend. Several member's spouses, or significant others, will be coming along, so it should prove to be a festive experience.

Ed Shadle will give a presentation which will include a recap of the past year's accomplishments. I will provide an account of those events worthy of mention in an update later this month. It's also rumored that the "Velvet Hammer" award will be given out to a team member who's done something over the past year to earn the honor of having it bestowed upon them.

Even though Steve Fossett's demise put a temporary halt to their project, it appears that the project intends to go ahead with an attempt. Of course, they'll have to find a replacement driver and conduct some training and test runs, like us, before they can be considered "viable" contenders for taking the record. We currently are working patiently to create an opportunity to conduct another test run next spring. If weather and surface conditions favor us, we hope to finally get her running at a respectable mid-speed range at that time.


October 19, 2007

Dear 800 Club Members,

The team has returned home from its visit to a test session at the Black Rock desert and participation in the 10th anniversary of the record being set by the ThrustSSC team. For pictures, please go to the update for this event.

First, we want to thank all the great sponsors that have supported this project's efforts to go for the record. They are too numerous to mention here, but a visit to our sponsor pages will give you an idea of who they are.

A fantastic effort by all team members was witnessed while there. All hands chipped in to get whatever job had to be done as fast as possible.

The first two days there, the weather was beautiful; sunny and calm. Unfortunately, we were so busy getting tasks completed so we could run the car, we didn't get it out of the temporary hangar provided by our sponsor Cover-All until the third day when the clouds and wind began acting up.

However, we did our best to take advantage of a deteriorating situation and managed to get in two runs at low speed to check steering before it was impossible to continue due to the dust clouds rolling across the playa. The dust particles are so fine they get into everything.

The celebration at Bev's - Miner's Bar - was fantastic. Present to celebrate the occasion were John Ackroyd - designer of the Thrust 2 car that set the record for the first time at Black Rock in 1983 - Jeremy Davy; webmaster of the ThrustSSC project, and his new bride, Lisa, Craig Breedlove with his wife, Yurina, Rosco McGlashen from Australia, and of course, Ed Shadle and his team were there with the others. Speeches were given by all and an atmosphere of comaraderie amongst everyone was very evident.

We accomplished two out of our three objectives that were set for this session; running on the new all metal wheels for the first time, and assessing the new hydraulic steering system we'd built. Ed discovered that the rolling resistence of the car with metal wheels was greater than expected - he didn't have to use any of the braking systems at low speed - and the steering system work well, even if it was a bit too responsive. That will be adjusted easily.

We folded up camp a day early because of the declining weather conditions and came home. Were we disappointed we didn't get the car up to 400 and 500mph? Of course! But when you're dealing with such an unpredictable circumstance, your hand is forced to play it safe and wait for a better day. We'll eventually get there, but there's still a lot of details behind the scene to get done that will insure the project's success down the road.

When we're ready for another trip to conduct mid-speed runs, we'll be letting everyone know.


October 1, 2007

Dear 800 Club Members,

In a couple of weeks the project's next step toward the goal of bringing the record back to North America will take place. A scheduled test session is to occur at Black Rock desert over the 10th anniversary celebration of the British ThrustSSC setting the existing record. Speeds on our new all metal wheels will take the car into new territory; the 400mph to 550mph range.

Right now, the team is taking care of last minute preparations to get everything into place so the car and support equipment is ready to go.

Information has come to the team that Monster Energy Drink will be sponsoring our test session this time, which means we'll have their logo on the side of the car while a video crew they've hired is shooting the event. It is still uncertain at this point, but CNN might also have a video crew there to tape a test session run or two.

This will be the team's first time out on the very playa where we intend to go for the record. While the logistics of getting everyone and everything down there is daunting, this new experience will be a test of how well the team functions in less comfortable conditions; even if for only five days.

I will be maintaining a daily journal on my laptop while there, and upon returning to civilization and home, will submit a summary report on how things transpired from day to day. So, be watching for it around the 21st of the month.


September 14, 2007

Dear 800 Club Members,

Not quite two weeks ago did the news break that Steve Fossett, our contender for the record, disappeared while on a short flight in Nevada. As has been indicated on our front page of this site, we hope for the best. However, as the days run into weeks, the odds are fading fast for a positive outcome in this sad scenario.

Occasionally I get messages from those who seem to know everything and want to let me know what they think we should do. Recently, an individual sent me an email saying he felt we were spending far too much time "tinkering" with equipment and electronics on the car and should just go out and light the fire and go for it. I thought I'd share my response to him with you.

-------------------

Thanks for sharing your views with us about our project. Please allow me to clarify a few points for your edification about why our project has taken so long. It's hardly a matter of over engineering.

The co-owners, Ed Shadle & Keith Zanghi, when they met were both "working stiffs" from the middle class. The one thing they share is the vision to go after the unlimited class land speed record; even if they didn't have the unlimited funds others have had, either in the past, or currently. Actually, even Richard Noble didn't have as much funding as most people like to believe.

Going about the project with very little, if any, financial backing required Ed & Keith to patiently gather together volunteers who had various areas of expertise and ask them to gather on a Saturday when they weren't working; a few times a month here, once a month there. At the same time, without having credentials like Richard Noble did as the record holder, they gradually got a local paper to do a story on their project, or a TV station to put a 10 minute piece into a local show and waited patiently for local companies to learn about us and come on board as donors of equipment, or services, that were needed. At least the fact that they chose to save millions in R&D by using an F-104 as a platform to construct a land speed car with was a "selling point" the media was attracted by. This is how the project got its engine and why we are a two country effort since the engines are on loan from a British Columbia, Canada company. Our precision machining is also in B.C.

Over time and with persistence, we've gradually acquired several larger sponsor who've provided us with donations of a data acquisition system, sensors from nose to tail, magnetic brakes which make this car very unique, a start cart, high speed cameras that are used on the Space Shuttle, and more recently, our high speed wheels have been donated or paid for by various parties interested in seeing us succeed because we've demonstrated a stubborn, yet patient drive toward pulling it off.

We have not been tinkering or playing with technology just to see how long we can stretch the project out. Rather, we've had to endure those who've promised us items we've needed, only to discover months later that they weren't really serious about their stated interest in supporting us as promised. Plus, we've had to learn by mistake at times that we couldn't go forward until certain systems were modified, or components were included, to make them work properly. After all, there aren't a lot of folks taking a jet powered vehicle to speeds we are intending to go. Without the funds readily available, it was, at times, a game of casting for someone to come along and offer their product that would meet the need and waiting for them to surface.

Because the co-owners understand the seriousness of what they've embarked on accomplishing, and the ramifications involved if they hurried through it to just go out and run for the record without properly preparing the car to be as safe and trustworthy of performing as needed, we are not in a rush to ignore those factors which could well end the project in tradgedy; as many in the past have saddly learned. Recall what Craig Breedlove experienced in '96 when he pushed his car to its limit and discovered that you can get a record for the world's fastest U-turn on land. It set his project's progress back a whole year. We want avoid making the same errors.

Granted, this is not usually considered an efficient way of going about the process of running a project of this magnitude, especially amidst today's climate of "instant gratification", but if it illustrates one thing for certain, it is that this project is an example of how those with a strong enough vision and the wisdom to make sure it's done the way it needs to be done, can overcome seemingly insurmountable odds until it's achieved. And that, we will.


September 1, 2007

Dear 800 Club Members,

Well, the summer's almost over. July and August went by in a flash, but the project has gotten a lot of stuff done behind the scenes.

Admittedly, things have moved slowly over this season, but sometimes things don't always go as fast as one would like. Here are some of the highlights that have occurred during this period:

Some of these modifications were major, which took several months to complete. There are still other less important issues to deal with, but we've made a great deal of progress. Now, things will once again begin to move forward with more test sessions planned for later this year.

We've added three new sponsors to our list of growing support from around the country. The east coast based Starfighters, Inc. the world's fastest airshow team, Puget Sound Rope, and Falcon® Electric have joined us in our goal to bring the record back to America.

We encourage you to visit our site frequently to keep informed via our regular updates, as well as these occasional newsletters.


June 15 , 2007

Dear 800 Club Members,

Since last month a number of exciting things have happen on the project. First off, the Discovery Channel aired our one hour television show, Mega Builders - Worlds Fastest Wheels two more times. Since the show has debuted in the United States, the Discovery Channel has run the show nineteen times! Our Canadian team member, Steve Green, was on the other network when he and his niece, Nadine, were featured on the National Geographic Channel. Salt Flat Speedway was shown three times and highlighted the 2006 Bonnevelle Speedweek. It gave a lot of air time to the Green Brothers as it was filmed at Eagle Machine, Inc shop in Abottsford BC.

Other news is the addition of Mike Thoe to the team. Mike is an Aerodynamic Engineer and works at one of the most advance wind tunnels in the world. His help will make the transition from a subsonic to a transonic speed a safe one. Ed Shadle, Steve Wallace and Keith Zanghi went on the road again and gave presentation to over 1,300 people at the 2007 COE (CATIA Operators Exchange) in Las Vegas, NV. Libby Wallace was also on hand to meet sponsors and answer questions to the thousands in attendance. The project got some more ink this month when it was featured on the very popular How Stuff Works website.

This month was espicially exciting as we gained two more partners on the project. Opto 22 will be providing IO boards for the Eagle and Uremet Corporation will be building our rear high speed wheels and providing engineering support.


April 18 , 2007

Dear 800 Club Members,

Progress has been steady at the NAE™ hangar over the past month. Systems on the car are being adjusted and improved (software work on the canard design, hydraulics redesign, and parachute modifications), new equipment is being acquired and worked over (team bus, new team fire truck) and our bi-metal wheels are being manufactured at this time. All of this is being done in anticipation of our upcoming test session later this year. Where it will occur is uncertain at this point. However, once we know, it will be announced prominently on the site.


March 31, 2007

Dear 800 Club Members,

Well, in the process of making the shift from the old site to the new, I accidentally lost the contents of the last few newsletter entries. For those of you who read them from here, it won't be a big loss. For those who are new to the site and haven't read them, you really didn't miss much. I gripped and moaned about how few of you were not showing support for the project by purchasing NAE™ Gear from our store so you could send me an attached picture of our members in their shirt or hat like some of the others have done. So, I won't bore you with that sniveling here.

Hope you like the new format of the site now. Hey, it's the best I could do with the little spare time I have working full-time and such.


February 4, 2007

Dear 800 Club Members,
 
I hope all of you are doing well. With little news to report at this time of year on the progress of the project other than what I've already shared in the previous newsletter, I've decided this was a good time to share a unique story the team was given last spring from the daughter of a man who lived and worked in the heart of the aviation industry during the era of the "right stuff". (For those of you who may not have seen the movie, The Right Stuff, I strongly recommend at least renting the DVD and watching it.) His name was Gene E. Burton, and his daughter Vicki Burton Knepper sent us a PDF of the scanned documents he had written for his memoirs.
 
For the sake of accuracy in reading these pages without any confusion, I am gradually retyping sections of the pages (some of the ends, or corners weren't flat and in focus when copied to the PDF) and posting them as a series. They are about his experience in the aviation industry at North American Aviation and those he met and knew who were actually the men with the "right stuff" of that day. I've already posted the first two sections and will, over the next few months, post the remaining ones as time allows. I've dubbed them "The Days of the Right Stuff".
 
One of our 800 Club members who's already read the first two sections wrote me today saying, "Please post the next part to Memoirs soon. Wow!" For those of you who are new members, or those of you who may not yet know this, the airframe we've acquired and modified into the NAE™ has a very unique history as a former F-104 Startfighter.
 
I hope you enjoy reading them and I will provide you with more news as it develops.
January 19, 2007
 
Dear 800 Club Members,
 
It's been nearly a month since my last newsletter. At this time of year, things move slowly; especially when the weather is more severe than normal. I know some of you reading this are saying to yourselves, "Tell me about it, pal!" because in some other parts of the country there's been just as bad, or worse, weather. I hope none of our club members have suffered anything unpleasant as a result of these conditions.
 
For our new members who've joined recently, welcome aboard! I want to take this opportunity to inform you "newcomers", as well as remind those who are veterans of several years, of a few important points you may not be aware of, or have forgotten. First, your club membership includes a few benefits at this non-donation level (unlike the Eagle's Lair members who get lots more) which you should have received.
 
They are - an image of the NAE™ in action, a certificate with your name on it, your name posted on the site's Members Worldwide page, AND for those who've purchased NAE™ Gear from our store to wear proudly about your community, if you take a picture of yourself in your gear in front of some landmark in your area and send it into me, I will post it on your own page for us to admire. Those who've already done so have their name on the Members Worldwide page linked to it. So, if you realize you've not received something listed above, or would like to submit your image for posting, let me know or send it in. Also, our Mystery Photo page, which changes each month, has become fairly popular, but mostly from those who aren't even members, but just dropping on in. So, visit the site and check it out to send in your guess and show us how smart you are with a challenge. Some are easy, some are goofy, while others are harder than usual. Hey, it's fun to lighten up once in a while.
 
Okay, down to business of the newsletter for this issue. The work of commencing with modifications to the Eagle has begun in earnest for the winter in the hangar. The tasks are many; converting the front suspension, and box it goes in, into a configuration that will accommodate the all metal wheel (forged aluminum alloy) which is currently in the process of being negotiated for manufacture over the next few months. Changes to the hydraulic system is another task being done. The electrical system is also being modified; there are multiple levels of various voltages and cycles which are involved, most of which I know very little about. The data acquisition system, which collects 3,080,000 pieces of data each second while the car is running, is having some newly received hardware, from our sponsor PCB Piezotronics, added to it for enhancing its capabilities to process it all. Then, there's the deceleration system (more specifically the parachutes and not the magnetic brakes, or the speed brake doors) which will be going through an overhaul. The low speed chute tubes are being taken off and replaced with slightly wider diameter tubes that are a tad longer to give the bags that go in them a bit more room in which to be packed.
 
Other tasks being worked on, are the results of the car's digitally mapped image being analyzed by one of our new sponsors, CSM Software using their Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) program to determine what its behavior will be upon reaching the transonic speeds (600 - 700mph) while, as well as beyond these speeds, into the realm of the supersonic, on the ground. The canards, or small neutrally aerodynamic winglets which are on each side of the nose of the car and in front of the cockpit, need a software program to be designed and constructed which would integrate with the technology of load sensors on the front suspension to make sure that just enough, but not too much, down-force is applied to keep the nose from lifting. Dialog and negotiations are underway at this time regarding the integration of this safety feature on the car. Still, yet another item which is in the works is the fairing, or covering of the rear suspension framework, that attaches to the airframe of the fuselage at three points on the rear half of the car. This covering is believed to be necessary in order to reduce drag when the car's testing begins to move into the mid-range speeds of our test sessions next spring and summer.
 
So, as you can see, there's a lot of different things going on at once by the team to move the test phase of the project into its next level for the coming year. At this point, the project still has yet to acquire a financial backer which would allow the project to move more rapidly along with its progress toward going for the record. This circumstance, however, does not deter us from staying focused and committed to the ultimate goal of getting the record.
 
As to any news from the Steve Fossett camp (new comer to the challenge of setting a record to best the Brits), there is none to report. Having all the finances he needs to do the modifications he's making to the old Spirit of America of Craig Breedlove's former vehicle he acquired for his bid, his project is not disclosing any information. Considering the possibility might arise that he may not meet the deadline for completion of modification in order to conduct sufficient testing with the new configuration, they may not be able to go for the record next October/November as initially hoped for when he announced his intentions last October.
 
While many of you wrote in to share your delight at watching our documentary (shot in the spring of 2004) on the Discovery Channel recently, we have good news; there will be another piece airing sometime this year as part of a show called "Hyperspeed". It will be a shorter segment of our test session conducted in June of last year at El Mirage Lake bed in California. So, be sure to check into the site regularly for announcements - sometimes they are shared with us only days before the broadcast - so you don't miss it.
 
A new look will be coming to the visitors and viewers of our project's web site soon. Webmaster Jon Higley, and his always helpful and reliable assistant Trish Woods, have been working furiously over the last month to revamp the site's look and features to accommodate the growing popularity the project is generating. (Okay, we're growing weary of the current look too.) So, be watching for the debut of this revision around the end of February, or the first part of March.
 
For new members who've joined only recently, I recommend that you read the previous newsletter below (a recap of events) to learn what the project went through last year. Quite a bit of progress was made, but we expect even greater things this coming year.
 
More next month!

December 21, 2006 (Winter Solstice)

Dear 800 Club Members,

Given the fact that this will be the last newsletter of 2006, it will recap the year's events; helping to highlight the progress of the project for the year, while simultaneously bringing many of our new 800 Club members up to speed. (Hey, I think it's a great pun; after all, that's what we're all about!)

Don't forget, most of these events  listed  here also have a Photo Gallery to view.

This past year started out with very sad news; Col. Brian Simpson - USAF, passed away in January after his battle with cancer. Col. Simson was the pivotal individual at Edwards AFB who understood the essence of what our project was about; taking on challenges despite the odds. He made it possible for the NAE™ to conduct test runs on Rogers Dry Lake next to Edwards AFB in the fall of the previous year. For his contribution to the project's forward progress, we are eternally indebted to him. He is missed.

Then too, we can't forget the joy experienced when General Joe Engle (USAF Retired) visited the NAE and team while on display at the Open House for Edwards AFB in October. Gen. Engle, who was one of many test pilots who flew 56-0763 when it was a chase plane at this base, sat in the cockpit of the NAE and joined the team for a group photo. He has become an avid supporter of our project.

Amidst weekend work parties of doing engine removal and replacements, along with various systems upgrade work, the team made an appearance with the car at the Northwest Aviation & Trade Show on the Puyallup Fairgrounds. While there, Scott Crossfield, keynote speaker for this event, came to the NAE™ on display and talked with the team about the days, decades ago, when he flew this F-104 jet at Edwards AFB. He told us how he landed 56-073 (its tail #); performing about 100 dead stick landings in it, to train for later flying the X-15, for which 56-0763 was a chase plane at Edwards.

Only two months later, in April, the sad news of Scott Crossfield's demise in a lightning storm, while flying his private aircraft in the southeast, came to the team. We considered ourselves very fortunate to have had the privilege and honor of meeting him earlier. A tribute to him was posted on the site that month acknowledging his contribution to aviation, as well as his relentless promotion of aviation education.

During the spring, as continued work on improvements to the car's systems went on, a few new sponsor came on board with the project; Olympus Industrial and their high speed video equipment, Space Age Control and their transducer equipment, filled needed components for moving the project forward. The legend of land speed racing, Richard Noble - project director of the existing record holder vehicle, the ThrustSSC - joined our 800 Club at this time as well.

Approaching the beginning of summer, some team individuals had some notable experiences - Garlow met Mike Melvile - the first private astronaut - at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, while the team's medical specialist, Patrick Smith, completed his RN training. Work on the NAE™ was wound up and the car and team prepared for another test session in California. After a couple of runs on El Mirage Dry Lake, mother nature threw the team a curve ball and rained us out. We then moved down to Burbank and the scheduled appearance at the Aerobooks/Autobooks store on Magnolia Blvd., thanks to the hard work of Doug Schwartz, the team's PR/Sponsorship specialist.

On the second of the two days in the store's parking lot, we were honored with the appearance of none other than Jay Leno, host of the NBC Tonight Show. After touring the car with driver/owner Ed Shadle, he made a small contribution to the donation jar and offered to write an article in his monthly column for the Popular Mechanics magazine. Lots of pictures were taken and hands were shaken. What a great guy!

Through summer, Team NAE™ made three local appearances, but the car remained in the hangar while work was done on both hydraulic and electrical systems for improvements. August saw Ed and his entourage of buddies make their way to attend the annual Speed Week at Bonneville's Salt Flats. There Shadle ran his Roadster, but the highlight of the week was getting to meet Andy Green - current record holder in the ThrustSSC - and the JCB DieselMax team and car. Also, Ron Ayers was there as a consultant to the project and acquaintances were reestablished and sharing of information abound between racers.

Summer was capped off with an invitational appearance of the NAE™ at the annual LeMay Auto Museum's Marymount Academy site in Spanaway, WA. While there, the team talked with the crowds, but the NAE™ did the real crowd pleasing; it conducted two engine tests and gave them some real loud noise! Monitoring of the electrical system was conducted simultaneously and new information was gleaned.

Fall began with the team's annual BBQ at the Wallace residence in University Place, WA. Then, after a few work parties where more hydraulic work and an engine throttle adjustment were done by crew chief Bill Eckberg, the NAE™ made an appearance at one of its local sponsors in Puyallup - Hydraulic Repair & Design. This event proved very helpful to the team's attempt to tackle the issue with the hydraulic problem we were experiencing, with the input from H-R-D's President, Nick Neslund.

As fall went into full swing, work on the car continued. In mid-October, Jay Leno's article in Popular Mechanics was published. The team was very pleased with Jay's contribution of bringing the project the exposure so important to a massive endeavor like this. At the same time, Steve Fossett, of around the world ballooning fame, announced his plans to modify the Spirit of America he'd purchased from Craig Breedlove, and possibly go for the land speed record in the fall of '07. How ironic, while Fossett's got the money, but little time, we've got no real money and have spent a total of nine years thus far! We press on for that elusive sponsorship that includes capital to bring it all together.

Late fall proved a real "roller coaster" for team member's emotions, as it suffered a great loss. Ed Drumheller II, team deceleration specialist, passed away after battling with cancer, on November 9th; just as the car was heading to southern California. At the same time, two new sponsors partnered with us; Wolfe Air Aviation Limited & ITR North America joined the growing ranks of companies supporting our bid for the record. In mid-November, the NAE™ appeared at the Aerospace Testing Expo in Anaheim, California where hundreds of aviation related companies were also on display. The three days there on the show floor across from our sponsors - PCB Peizotronics' - booth, proved to be the most productive for attracting new and very needed sponsors from companies that will provide the project with critical serivces and opportunties to make it leap ahead in its goal to go for the record.

Two days after the expo concluded,the team and car met once again at El Mirage to conduct tests. These tests, while only going 225mph, were mainly to verify suspicions that some key parts in the hydraulic system needed changing out. Two weeks later, the team went back to Yorba Linda, California for an invitational appearance at the John Force Holiday Auto Show at the J.F. Racing facility.

A team of four separate companies which work collaboratively, - Dassault Systemes, FARO® Technologies, Verisurf Software, & INCAT® - met at the JFR site the day before to digitally map the entire car's body into a CAD program. This will later be completed for CFD analysis and wind tunnel model making purposes next year. The accomplishment of this work was a quantum leap forward for the project, as it will provide it with greater opportunities and accelerate it more rapidly toward our ultimate goal; going for the record!

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