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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.:

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:


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

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


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
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

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



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!


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!


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:

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)

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, 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

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