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Tau Zero 09-08-2011 09:49 PM

Evel Knievel's legacy
 
2 Attachment(s)
"37 years ago today..." was Sept. 8, 1974, and the following event put my adopted hometown on the map.:

http://www.kmvt.com/news/local/Will...-129495073.html


Will Robbie Knievel outdo his father's Snake River Canyon attempted jump?

By Jay Michaels


TWIN FALLS, ID (KMVT) 37 years ago today, the eyes of the whole world were watching while Evel Knievel attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon.

On September 8th, 1974, Robert Craig "Evel" Knievel's steam powered X-2 Skycycle briefly took to the skies over the Snake River Canyon. The parachute deployed while the Skycycle was still on the ramp, and Knievel landed on the south side of the Snake River.

About a year and a half ago, his son Robbie Knievel met with 25 or 30 local agencies to try that jump again.

Shawn Barigar, President and CEO of the Twin Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, says, "At that time Robbie and his crew really came with and idea to jump the canyon. And we all said, we're open to having that conversation. But you need to bring us a plan, not an idea."

Evel Knievel died at age 69 in November 2007. Back in 1974, local residents and private companies hired by Knievel were dismayed by the aftermath of unpaid bills he reportedly left behind. That's a situation that their 21st century counterparts want to avoid.

Barigar says, "You're dealing with two counties, a state, federal agencies, Twin Falls City, Idaho State Police. All of these different agencies that have some say in this. And it can be a daunting task to say where do I start?"

Barigar says he told Robbie Knievel he needed to contact the Idaho Department of Lands to start the process of assembling a plan for the jump. Barigar says in the last half dozen years, about half a dozen people have said they want to jump the canyon. But he says none of them have contacted the local agencies that they need to get permission from.

Barigar says, "They need to have a plan in place that addresses those resources, either pays for them to be provided by us in the community, or bring security or whatever the case may be. But covers those costs, because nobody wants to be stuck at the end of the day with a bunch of bills that aren't paid."

Sept. 8, 2011
.

Tau Zero 09-08-2011 09:58 PM

Centuri's semi-scale Skycycle
 
For the record, yes, I bought one from my local hobby shop, back in the day:

http://www.spacemodeling.org/JimZ/cen2150.htm


Cheers,

A Fish Named Wallyum 09-08-2011 10:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CenturiGuy
For the record, yes, I bought one from my local hobby shop, back in the day:

http://www.spacemodeling.org/JimZ/cen2150.htm


Cheers,

Ever fly it? Anything left of it? I was looking at it as a cloning possibility last week. :cool:

Tau Zero 09-08-2011 10:34 PM

150% ST-20 Skycycle upscale suggestion
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Fish Named Wallyum
Ever fly it? Anything left of it? I was looking at it as a cloning possibility last week. :cool:
Flew it, yes. It was 13mm-powered, so it didn't go very high.

A couple of months ago, I came up with the idea of doing a ~150% ST-20 upscale, with a 4" long parabolic nose cone. To keep a similarly-sized mount, I was thinking in terms of a standard 18mm (ST-7) mount. I'd probably use 3/32" balsa for the fins.

--I'm just sayin'. :eek: ;) :D :cool:

BABAR 09-08-2011 10:36 PM

I had one. Was something of an appropriate flight.
Went up about 50 feet, down 50 feet, thrashed around on the ground for a second, and then the chute popped out.

Earl 09-08-2011 10:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CenturiGuy
"37 years ago today..." was Sept. 8, 1974, and the following event put my adopted hometown on the map.:

http://www.kmvt.com/news/local/Will...-129495073.html


Cheers,


Jay-

Thanks for the history note. Man, hard to believe that event is pushing in on 40 years ago. Seems 'almost' like yesterday. Us boys in the neighborhood followed his every jump, and the Snake River event was the drama of all dramas. 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.

For a 12 year old kid who loved riding a bike and jumping home made ramps about as much as rockets and space, there weren't too many mortals cooler than Knievel back in those days.

I got the Centuri Sky Cycle in '76 and it was one of my favorite flyers back then. Matter of fact, it still flys occasionally still.....original chute, shock cord and all.

Thanks for the memory 'jogger' Jay!


Earl

Jerry Irvine 09-08-2011 11:28 PM

Had the original EK or his crew had the experience of HPR rocketeers of the 2010's, that would have never happened. A plywood bulkhead failed and made the chute eject early.

Someone please do it today!

Jerry

ghrocketman 09-09-2011 08:49 AM

That Sky Cycle was one of Evel's more IDIOTIC ventures, and that's saying a lot because MOST if not ALL of his stunts ranged from mildly to TOTALLY IDIOTIC.

Gus 09-09-2011 08:45 PM

2 Attachment(s)
A wonderful, free, launchable card rocket of the Sky Cycle, designed by Eric Truax, can be downloaded at: http://rocketry.wordpress.com/ultim...r-rocket-guide/

Eric's version looks better than my old Centuri one. :o

Tau Zero 10-14-2011 07:25 PM

Scott Truax, son of engineer Robert Truax
 
5 Attachment(s)
http://www.kmvt.com/news/local/Son-...-131896878.html

Son of Evel Knievel's engineer will share science of jump on web TV show

By Jay Michaels


TWIN FALLS, ID (KMVT) On September 8th, 1974, Evel Knievel rode his X-2 Skycycle into the sky over the Snake River Canyon. Robert Truax was the engineer behind the steam powered rocket.

37 years later, his son documentary producer Scott Truax is putting together a web-based TV show called Mech-Sci, for mechanics and science. He says the first episode will feature Knievel's Skycycle.

Truax says, "After my dad passed away, I was able to get ahold of all of his Evel Knievel-related drawings, pictures, movies."

Truax has a lot of the original footage of Knievel's jump, along with some inside information on exactly what went wrong.

He says, "To his credit, it was not Evel Knievel letting go of the handle. He did have a manual release, he held onto it the whole time. It was a parachute malfunction."

Truax says the Skycycle's parachute system was the only part of the Skycycle his dad didn't design and test. He says that you can find out scientifically what happened once he completes the first episode of his show. Right now he's raising money to do that.

If you'd like to keep up with Truax's progress, you can visit mech-sci.com, which will bounce you to his Facebook page.

Truax says, "My dream, ever since I was a little kid, is to recreate this, the only Evel Knievel stunt that somebody hasn't recreated. It's just a matter of finding the right person and the right funding."


Oct. 14, 2011
.

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
 
Quote:
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.


Cheers,

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

Quote:
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

Fyi
 
http://www.x-2skycycle.com/

UPscaler 11-29-2011 08:02 AM

Jay,
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:






Braden

mojo1986 11-30-2011 07:24 AM

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

tbzep 11-30-2011 08:50 AM

Quote:
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"???
http://timpickens.com/tim-pickens-p.../steam-rockets/

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:

Jerry Irvine 11-30-2011 12:57 PM

I saw a very successful steam rocket fly at RRS/MTA about 5 years ago or so. It was about 10-12" diameter and had a throat about 1/4". I think the ISP was 20-40. 1000-1300 psia peak.

Here is an image of an HTP steam rocket I "fired" with a measured ISP of 113.



Jerry

dyaugo 12-01-2011 10:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl
Jay-

Thanks for the history note. Man, hard to believe that event is pushing in on 40 years ago. Seems 'almost' like yesterday. Us boys in the neighborhood followed his every jump, and the Snake River event was the drama of all dramas. 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.

For a 12 year old kid who loved riding a bike and jumping home made ramps about as much as rockets and space, there weren't too many mortals cooler than Knievel back in those days.

I got the Centuri Sky Cycle in '76 and it was one of my favorite flyers back then. Matter of fact, it still flys occasionally still.....original chute, shock cord and all.

Thanks for the memory 'jogger' Jay!


Earl


A true stunt man. Did all his stunts on a Harley. Lets see some of the guys today who jump on the new tech bikes pull some of those stunts off.

ghrocketman 12-01-2011 01:15 PM

TRUE stunt man because he was stupid enough to try them on a Hardly-Movingson ???
C'mon now.
He was entertaining at times but was about as smart as a bag full of hammers.

Chuckles WERE and STILL ARE great candy !
Even the Licorice one !

Kinda funny that Evel stiffed a bunch of backers on that idiotic attempt.
Anybody foolish enough to back something that moronic desrves to LOSE.

dyaugo 12-01-2011 03:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghrocketman
TRUE stunt man because he was stupid enough to try them on a Hardly-Movingson ???
C'mon now.
He was entertaining at times but was about as smart as a bag full of hammers.

Chuckles WERE and STILL ARE great candy !
Even the Licorice one !

Kinda funny that Evel stiffed a bunch of backers on that idiotic attempt.
Anybody foolish enough to back something that moronic desrves to LOSE.


Yeah and he always crashed too!!

You know he died Nov 30th 2007 would have been 4yrs yesterday

bob jablonski 12-02-2011 07:49 AM

Actually he started on a Triumph. Watch the Ceaser Palace jump (crash). When he was jumping the moderen dirt bikes were not around. I know of 3 riders that have jumped over 300ft. And EK said it would never be done...
Mr. Bob
Starlight dude

Gus 12-02-2011 11:04 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghrocketman
Chuckles WERE and STILL ARE great candy !
Even the Licorice one !

Always looking for areas where we agree, and this is another! :D

I would love to know the story of how Chuckles became a sponsor. I don't remember them ever sponsoring anything else. I always thought it was pure Evel to have such an unusual sponsor since he was such an unusual guy. And could there have been anything less likely to inspire "chuckles" than a guy with an insane plan to launch himself over a canyon in a home-built rocket motorcycle? Kinda like having the Chuckles logo on the wall at the Colosseum during the gladiator contests. :eek:

ghrocketman 12-02-2011 11:23 AM

Gus-
I LIKE that....sponsors on Coliseum walls during Gladiator contests.

B-D 000 surgical silk, Band-Aid, Jack Daniel's, Acme Casket Co., Purina LION Chow, and Lilly MORPHINE come to mind as logical sponsors.... :D :chuckle:

Too bad you still cant get the bags full of single-flavor Chuckles from the 70's....I'd buy a case of the Lime ones to go with a pallet of Burger Chef Super Shef burgers.

chrism 12-02-2011 08:04 PM

Chuckles candy home page
 
Here is a link to the famous Chuckles candy with its connection to the infamous Evel Knievel:


http://www.farleysandsathers.com/Ab...e.asp?BrandID=2

Tau Zero 12-03-2011 11:28 AM

Still "Chuckling" after all these years
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus
I would love to know the story of how Chuckles became a sponsor. I don't remember them ever sponsoring anything else. I always thought it was pure Evel to have such an unusual sponsor since he was such an unusual guy. And could there have been anything was less likely to inspire "chuckles" than a guy with an insane plan to launch himself over a canyon in a home-built rocket motorcycle? Kinda like having the Chuckles logo on the wall at the Colosseum during the gladiator contests. :eek:
Steve,

Scott Truax said the story he heard was that a representative from Chuckles showed up with a suitcase full of $25,000 in cash shortly before the jump. Scott says he heard that lots of Evel's deals were completed "under the table" like that.

"Less likely to inspire 'chuckles?'" Oh, believe me, there were *plenty* of people laughing at the prospect.

Some high school kids even painted a red and while bullseye on the north side of the canyon for Knievel to "hit." :rolleyes: ;) :D

More than 37 years later, people are *still* laughing. :D

Jerry Irvine 12-03-2011 12:18 PM

Despite his pecadillos and imperfections, he was a successful stunt man on the one metric that matters to stunt men. Media mind share.

The skycycle stunt did have a partial failure due to a mechanical error beyond the scope of the pilot.

I say partial failure because again, under the only metric of importance to a stunt man, it resulted in unprecedented media exposure and mind share. So much so, the majority of the population still knows about it and thinks about it.

You may poo poo a candy company sponsoring Knievel, but note this well. That was Nabisco, one of the largest food companies on the planet.

The $25k suitcase was possibly the best investment they ever made. That was pocket change for them!

Jerry

Earl 12-03-2011 09:57 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Irvine
Despite his pecadillos and imperfections, he was a successful stunt man on the one metric that matters to stunt men. Media mind share.

The skycycle stunt did have a partial failure due to a mechanical error beyond the scope of the pilot.

I say partial failure because again, under the only metric of importance to a stunt man, it resulted in unprecedented media exposure and mind share. So much so, the majority of the population still knows about it and thinks about it.

You may poo poo a candy company sponsoring Knievel, but note this well. That was Nabisco, one of the largest food companies on the planet.

The $25k suitcase was possibly the best investment they ever made. That was pocket change for them!

Jerry


I think you are spot on with every point Jerry. He was a master showman for his day. And he DID get a ton of media coverage back then....there wasn't anyone else even in the same league at the time. Was some it cheesy? Sure; some of it was designed to be.

And yes, that $25K was nothing money when it comes to marketing expenditures in those categories. Best money they probably ever spent...and probably would have been happy to double or triple it on the spot if need be. That jump that year was one of the biggest media events of that year, probably only second to Nixon's resignation the month before. The country was looking for a diversion from the crap of Watergate. Enter Evel to do just that, win or loose.

Earl

tbzep 12-04-2011 08:15 AM

Must have worked.....I got an Evel Knievel stunt cycle for Christmas somewhere around that time. :cool:

bob jablonski 12-04-2011 09:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
Must have worked.....I got an Evel Knievel stunt cycle for Christmas somewhere around that time. :cool:

Those were repordued in the mid 90's. I got my kid one.
Mr. Bob
Starlight dude

Tau Zero 12-09-2011 10:10 AM

X-2 Skycycle Blog
 
Today I found an old blog by Scott Truax with a few interesting pictures:

http://x2skycycle.blogspot.com/


Cheers,

Jerry Irvine 12-09-2011 01:15 PM

Centuri Guy, see message 17 in this thread.

There does seem to be a lot of ongoing interest in this vehicle.

ghrocketman 06-11-2012 11:57 AM

Anything new on this folks ?
Is Robbie still intending on following in his fathers footsteps of one MORONIC stunt after another ?
I would like to see a full attempt of the Snake River Canyon Jump, with absolutely NO additional safety features over the attempt in the 70's.
No backup chutes, no airbags, and no other mamby-pamby junk.
The safety features of the original were more than plenty. Don't pay for any stinkin' insurance or any other jackwagon useless permits either. Just GO DO IT.
Make it possible to deploy the chute ONLY AFTER the rocket motor has expended ALL fuel.
That way that "crock of crapola" pakk-o'-lies that the chute prematurely deployed can be avoided. Evel bailed on the original. Anything else is baloney.

Actually it would be a much better stunt for Robbie if he "pilots" a rocket-powered version of the original Evel Knievel Chevy STEP-VAN (bread truck/SWAT team van) off a ramp into that canyon. Now THAT would be an impressive feat. Even if a failure, a STEP VAN smashing into a mangled smouldering heap at the bottom of a canyon would be entertainment "A Plenty" !

dyaugo 06-11-2012 12:06 PM

I always considered Evel Knievel a true stuntman compared to a lot of these guys today. You see these guys jump 100 yards on a motor cycle that has 2-3 feet of suspension...ok a great jump indeed, but try the fountains at Ceasar's on a Harley or Triumph? Now lets see how good you are? Evel made himself an icon at time when no one else out there was doing it. Talk about niche marketing. He set up his own ramps and also built them. The guy was awesome!!

His son Robbie has made some very successful jumps. I'm sure there are a lot of folks out there that would like to see him clear the Snake River.

ghrocketman 06-11-2012 12:28 PM

Jumping with a Hardly-Movingson or a Triumph does not show a real stunt, it shows a serious lack of intelligence for undertaking something just plain stupid. Use the correct tool for the job or at least one that gives the greatest chances of success. Anything less is just foolhardy horseplay. The nicest legitimate way to describe Evel would be "loudmouthed foolhardy never-grew-up kid". The only reason he never used a POS Farmall tractor off a jump ramp was he could not figure out a way to get up enough speed.

dyaugo 06-11-2012 12:30 PM

Back then I'm sure there weren't many options.

Opinions vary.

ghrocketman 06-11-2012 12:42 PM

I can almost picture that BOZO trying to jump some Vegas fountain (such as into the Bellagio fountain pond) on a Farmall or John Deere Tractor though. A COMBINE would be even funnier. The crash alone would be worth the price of the flight to Vegas.
Travis Pastrana has it over this lunkhead and always has. He undertakes stunts with a high liklihood of success using equipment that is logical for the task. Evel did neither.

Evel always appeared to have the attitude of "the loudmouth neighborhood bully in DESPERATE need of an A$$-kikkin" but never learned when he got it kikked, and it got kikked often.


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