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It’s simple, really: You just buy a junked Lockheed F-104 Starfighter (without wings), put in a new turbojet engine, add custom solid billet aluminum wheels designed for 900 mph, throw in some magnetic brakes and a parachute, and you’re good to go. Really, really go: to a new land speed record in excess of 770 mph (the current record, held by the ThrustSSC — now morphed into the BloodhoundSSC (see TM 10/2009), and looking at going as fast as 1,000 mph — and set in 1997, is 763.1 mph; new records have to be ≥ 1% better).

The North American Eagle™ Supersonic Land Speed Challenger is 56 feet long, weighs 13,000 pounds, and is powered by a GE LM-1500 turbojet. Its chassis is the fuselage of an F-104A-10 Starfighter (tail number 56-0763) originally designed by the famous Kelly Johnson at the Lockheed Skunkworks.

North American Eagle™ [Manufacturer's Site]

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7 Responses to It’s Just Cool: F-104 Land Speed Vehicle

  1. Shalin says:

    “Ya see it before ya hear it.” ;)
    This is freakishly awesome…reminds of ideas to get a bunch of buddies together for speed week at Bonneville…

  2. bajajoaquin says:

    You know what may be even cooler, and related to the F104 and records? There was a pilot, I forget his name, who set the world low-altitude flying speed record in an F104 that he built himself out of parts he cobbled together.

    The fuselage was from a static display, he took the engine from something else, and assembled the only civilian F104 himself.

  3. kyle says:

    This was in popular science last year. Maybe october?

  4. PutnamEco says:

    What about the Aussie Invader and the Spirit of America III?

  5. AK-John says:

    I drove out to the salt flats for the first time in January. Mostly water this time of year, but what a spectacular place. I would like to have the time to watch the speed week events. Some great american history. Don’t forget to visit Wendover Field (WWII Bomber Museum) next door.

  6. David Bryan says:

    Taking the wings off an F-104 is a definite improvement.

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