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GregGleason 10-14-2011 10:33 PM

EVEL KNIEVEL SKY CYCLE-003 by Joe Grippo, on Flickr

Tau Zero 10-15-2011 02:18 PM

Jay's "behind the scenes" report
Originally Posted by Earl
Too bad that chute ejected (for whatever reason....don't know if I ever really remember hearing the exact fault reasoning on that part of the jump) on the way up the launch ramp.
Earl (and everybody),

Scott Truax said that Knievel's steam-powered Skycycle had lots of base drag which generated a low pressure zone at the back of the rocket, which sucked the lid off the parachute compartment.

I find it interesting that the parachute system was the only system on the Skycycle that Bob Truax didn't design and test, which is what Scott Truax told me.

I guess Bob *was* a real engineer. ;) :D

Scott is also a very down-to-earth, enthusiastic, approachable guy. (Not to mention a really big Rush fan.) He also noticed the "Tau Zero" instructions cover posted on my divider at work. I told him that I also had the Centuri version of the Skycycle "back in the day." After looking at the photo that Greg Gleason posted above, it confirms my suspicions (along with Scott's) that Centuri enlarged the fins to make the model more stable than an official scale model would have been.

Once again, Scott Truax is a *great* guy. :D

--Oh, and he likes Mexican food, too.


Tau Zero 11-28-2011 10:02 PM

"But wait, there's MORE!"
<Bump> I added some pictures to this thread, for those of you who might be interested.

Thanks and cheers,

chrism 11-28-2011 10:53 PM

You knew the jump was doomed when one of your sponsers is Chuckles candy :(

Mark II 11-29-2011 12:54 AM

Interesting, but who is this Jay Michaels guy? :confused: ... :p

A Fish Named Wallyum 11-29-2011 01:59 AM

Originally Posted by chrism
You knew the jump was doomed when one of your sponsers is Chuckles candy :(

Agreed. Like sugar covered bugs. They squish in your mouth. And one was LICORICE flavored, if I remember right. Man, I hate licorice almost as much as Wilson Phillips. :rolleyes: :D

Jerry Irvine 11-29-2011 07:31 AM


UPscaler 11-29-2011 08:02 AM

Every time we visited (usually to watch BASE jumpers) we got a good look of the takeoff ramp that still stands. Just a big dirt hill, I believe when he actually attempted the jump he also had a giant launch rail of sorts. I've always wanted to see it up close, but it's no longer a 2 hour drive. Add about 30 to that and you'll be about right. :eek:


mojo1986 11-30-2011 07:24 AM

How the heck do you make a steam-powered rocket??

tbzep 11-30-2011 08:50 AM

Originally Posted by mojo1986
How the heck do you make a steam-powered rocket??

Some guys from HARA built one back in the 90's. I saw it fly in Manchester, IIRC. One of the guys from that project was involved in building the motor for Rutan's Spaceship One, Tim Pickens. The steam rocket was fairly conventional. It used a heating element to bring the pressure vessel's water above the boiling point so that it would turn to steam upon release. I can't recall the rating they calculated, but the rocket was pretty darn heavy, so I'd guess maybe an "L"???

The steam rocket was an extreme extension of the water rockets that Dan Coon (also HARA at the time) had been building. His water rockets flew with Polaroid camera payloads, and eventually, gimballed nozzle flight stablization. :cool:

BTW, this was more or less the same group of guys that were determined to put a "dirt" rocket into space. The project was a rockoon with an asphalt hybrid motor. It was tested in a conventional flight at Manchester, but I think their final design used a more standard fuel for the hybrid motor. It was launched off a barge in the Gulf, IIRC. I was at their asphalt motor test stand runs in Alabama and saw the conventional flight at Manchester. Those were fun times. :cool:

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