So I’m thinking about getting another job.

I saw this article and I just might have to go for it. Imagine going 800 mph with a rocket strapped to your butt. Acceleratingly exhilarating!!!

Are you fearless? Do you a have razor-sharp reactions and the sponsor-friendly good looks of a young Robert Redford? Think you’ve got what it takes to drive a supersonic jet car at speeds of more than 800mph?

If so, you might be just the man (or woman) to take the wheel of the North American Eagle, a 42,500bhp jet car with everything it takes to smash the land speed record, says its maker, except one thing – a driver.

Last week the team behind a joint American-Canadian attempt to win the world record back from the British launched an open contest to find that person. Those not put off by Richard Hammond’s recent brush with a jet car are welcome to apply, provided they are between 20 and 40 years of age and have relevant experience in motor racing, flying or other extreme sports (clocking up speed-camera points doesn’t count).

Photogenic features would help in the team’s effort to attract sponsorship. So far applicants have included two pilots and a handful of boy racers. The field is wide open.

“When you throttle this car up, you know you’re going for a ride,” says Ed Shadle, 66, co-owner and creator of the North American Eagle (NAE), who is reluctantly giving up the driver’s seat. “It’s a lot of fun to drive. But if my age is stopping us getting sponsors, we have to remove that barrier. We’ll put some hotshot in the driving seat who looks like Robert Redford and see how that works.”

The 56ft-long jet car runs on solid aluminum wheels – rubber tires couldn’t handle the heat – and a single test session costs more than $18,000 in worn parts and burnt fuel. At full throttle the NAE burns 160 gallons of fuel a minute. It covers a mile in 4.5sec and is capable, says Shadle, of reaching 800mph (37mph faster than Thrust) from standing in 20sec.

The record attempt is planned for this autumn in the Black Rock Desert, which is one of the few places with a surface long and flat enough to accommodate the NAE’s six-mile stopping distance, even with its custom-designed magnetic brakes and two 8ft-wide parachutes.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to help team North American Eagle beat the competition, send a 400-word e-mail listing your credentials and a photo of yourself to landspeedracing@gmail.com. Be warned, though – Shadle is not entirely resigned to ceding his place in the record books to a young upstart. “I can always go and take the record straight back from them,” he chuckles. “Not a problem. We’ll show those young studs this old guy can still lay down a good run.”

Now that’s a job and I’m completely qualified. Might have to get to writing that essay.

For the full article go here.

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~ by genelking on April 18, 2008.

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