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When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:52 am 
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exhaustgases wrote:
If she had enough time to radio she had enough time to eject.
By writing this, you imply that she should have had an operable ejection seat. Some thoughts.

If her "backup" plan was to use an ejection seat as a way to leave the car in case she could not stop, then that would have been an extremely poor and unsafe idea. Having a live ejection seat in the car would be putting the driver at a very, very high risk of death. The only way it would increase safety would be for the car to remain upright on all wheels and with no rolling, tumbling or out of control directional heading changes where the car was perfectly oriented straight up.

A lot of people don't know that an inadvertent, uncommanded ejection becomes a very high probability when that car no longer remains on all of its wheels in a stable, horizontal plane. The first physical interference, via a wreck, to any part of the ejection seat system in the car would likely set off the seat, regardless of the orientation of the car. In other words, the seat is like an uncontrollable time bomb, something that the driver would have absolutely no control over or eliminating the threat of, until coming to a virtual stop.

Those explosive charges/rockets are very unstable and have a propensity to activate at the slightest perturbation from an external force such as what happens in a crash. The designers who developed those seats had an assumption that no external stimuli would interfere with any part of that seat system while in the air. That is a valid assumption, since the ejection seat was to be used in the air, free from anything interfering with any part of the system. Once the seat is operated close to the ground, whether in an aircraft, or in this case, a high speed race car, then all bets are off. It is likely that something will interfere with that system and there is a high probability that the pilot will be ejected against their will. In these scenarios, the pilot almost always dies. Many military pilots have met untimely deaths due to being ejected from their aircraft, against their will, due to an activation of the seat from an external, physical stimulus due to a collision with something on the ground or another aircraft.

What this boils down to is the following:

1) If the driver could guarantee that the car would always have every wheel in contact with the ground at all times, and no rolling, tumbling or out of control situations occurring, then the ejection seat would be a viable safety measure.

2) If the driver could not guarantee the above, then the chances of an uncommanded ejection and nearly certain death, would have a very high probability of occurrence, and the ejection seat would not be a viable safety measure.

I'm guessing in the context of this accident, #2 would apply here.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:00 am 
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Here a video on the LEVX braking setup in the car


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:38 am 
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Lot of inaccurate information in this thread, let's see if I can get through some of them.

-As stated, the vehicle was previously the fuselage of a F-104. It was designed to be an aircraft, NOT to be an Unlimited Land Speed Vehicle, and NAE had been trying to make it work for years. The F-104 was an unforgiving aircraft, it was even less forgiving as a LSR vehicle.

-The non FIM/FIA-recognized “Woman’s Land Speed Record” was first set in 1906 by Dorthy Levitt, followed by Betty Skelton in Art Afron’s “Green Monster” in 1965, which was then broken by Lee Breedlove (in order to tie up Bonneville and keep Afrons from breaking Craig Breelove’s 600mph record set a few days previously). Kitty O’Neil broke it in 1976 with a run of 512 in the 3 wheel SMI Motivator. Jessi broke the 4 wheel record set by Lee Breelove with a timed run of 398.954, but Kitty O’Neil was still faster in the (again, non-recognized) Unlimted class.

-There was no ejection seat fitted. Thrust SSC (the LSR vehicle that broke the sound barrier at Black Rock in 1997) had 2 MB ejection seat rockets in her nose set to immediately fire if a lifting force was detected, but, thankfully, they were never needed.

-The Thrust SSC record is officially recognized by the Fédération Internationale du Sport l'Automobile as an Unlimited Land Speed Record. (763 mph average, 759.333/766.609 runs)

-Alford Desert was used by Kitty O’Neil, and it’s too darn short to be running Unlimited LSRs, but it was all NAE had. Both the original Thrust 2 (633 mph) and Thrust SSC (763 mph) used Black Rock (12+ useable miles in length) for a reason. Even then, SSC ran off the end of the prepared surface on a few runs.

-Craig Breedlove used Black Rock in 1996 and 1997 for his purpose-built Spirit of America Sonic Arrow (Formula Shell LSRV), and was going to be used by Steve Fossett after he bought Sonic Arrow from Breedlove and redesigned/rebuilt it. Supposedly it would have safely made 800 mph.

-Sonic Arrow did use a surface drag brake (Breedlove called it his “Fred Flintstone brake”) for low-speed deceleration.

-Ron Ayers, the designer of Thrust SSC and Bloodhound SSC is strongly against the 3 point layout with the engine in the rear and a single wheel up front (or 3, as in Sonic Arrow), saying it was too unstable at high speed.

-The story that Steve Fossett died while scouting for a place to run is BS, there are only a few places in the world to run, they're well known, and you’re not going to discover new ones at low altitude in a Decathalon. Rumor is he had a blowout with his wife about the upcoming LSR attempt and stormed out to go flying, which is why he left his watch with built-in ELT behind.

-The Breedlove/Fossett vehicle is now on display at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, in Denver, CO.

-NAE had a series of braking parachute problems. WADR to Jessie, I had been skeptical about NAE before, but their Oct 14, 2016 trip report sounded like the NTSB report of a fatal plane crash, you could see the links of a mishap chain being built with plenty of places someone should have said "STOP!!!" I fully expected to reach the end of the post and see "Injuries: 1-pilot (fatal)", and was relieved to see she had gotten out ok, but my overwhelming impression was "They are going to kill her.” and I gave up hope for the project. https://www.landspeed.com/stories/pr...ober-14-2016/, Still, I had hopes that maybe they had gotten the message and changed things around in the following years, but then they had a bay door pop open and FOD the engine at 300something, sooo....


In the end, while I didn’t think NAE stood a chance and should have stood down a long time ago, I was praying this would not be the outcome, and was horrified when I heard it was.

Godspeed, Jessie.












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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:19 am 
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p51buff wrote:


This link got broken fyi

https://www.landspeed.com/stories/proje ... r-14-2016/


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:12 am 
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Maybe it’s time to do away with male and female distinctions in speed records. Not worth the risk of life.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:09 pm 
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marine air wrote:
Maybe it’s time to do away with male and female distinctions in speed records....


Agree, and oldest, youngest, first Irish/French/Welsh-American mut (me). 6-fingered, etc. etc.

I recently read about the youngest child to climb El Capitan in Yosemite, 10 years old, with some fan fare...and still remember the young girl who was attempting to be the youngest to "fly" around the world in a Cessna....with tragic results. I seem to recall some certification organizations have stopped some of these practices.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:56 pm 
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marine air wrote:
Maybe it’s time to do away with male and female distinctions in speed records.

There are some things that your gender simply doesn't give you an assist.
There are categories for genders in shooting events, for example, and a woman is just as capable as a man on a person-per-person heading, for that. A guy just isn't a better shooter generally than a woman just because he's a male.
I can't imagine that driving would be any different (except, maybe, for long duration races where the upper body strength might come in handy for a man). You have to have guts, skill and to hold onto the wheel, why must there be male/female designations for that?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:09 pm 
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OD/NG wrote:
exhaustgases wrote:
If she had enough time to radio she had enough time to eject.
By writing this, you imply that she should have had an operable ejection seat. Some thoughts.
YES IS SHOULD HAVE BEEN OPERABLE.

If her "backup" plan was to use an ejection seat as a way to leave the car in case she could not stop, then that would have been an extremely poor and unsafe idea. Having a live ejection seat in the car would be putting the driver at a very, very high risk of death.
SERIOUS ? DIDN'T YOU HEAR WHAT HAPPENED BY NOT EJECTING OUT?

2) If the driver could not guarantee the above, then the chances of an uncommanded ejection and nearly certain death, would have a very high probability of occurrence, and the ejection seat would not be a viable safety measure.
I NEVER SAID ANYTHING ABOUT AN UNCOMMANDED EJECT.

I'm guessing in the context of this accident, #2 would apply here.

And in the end what happened without a chance to eject? All comments in caps are mine.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:59 am 
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Please stop this line of “reasoning”.

If anyone thinks an ejection is a SAFE way of saving a life, you need to forget that right now.

When I learned the T-33, it was briefed to me that we WOULD NOT eject if we thought we had a 99% chance of getting killed. The ejection seat was intended for the situations that meant we would have a 100% chance of getting killed. Faced with that upcoming certainty, we would then see if every part of the sequence worked as advertised, turn a couple L2, L3 vertebrae into powder and try to maintain consciousness enough to ascertain if the chute has deployed...

If anyone thinks ANY dry lake effort has the ability to afford a zero zero Martin Baker and make it fit a dry lake racecar AND have it matter in the least you are insane.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:26 am 
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exhaustgases wrote:
OD/NG wrote:
exhaustgases wrote:
If she had enough time to radio she had enough time to eject.
By writing this, you imply that she should have had an operable ejection seat. Some thoughts.
YES IS SHOULD HAVE BEEN OPERABLE.

If her "backup" plan was to use an ejection seat as a way to leave the car in case she could not stop, then that would have been an extremely poor and unsafe idea. Having a live ejection seat in the car would be putting the driver at a very, very high risk of death.
SERIOUS ? DIDN'T YOU HEAR WHAT HAPPENED BY NOT EJECTING OUT?

2) If the driver could not guarantee the above, then the chances of an uncommanded ejection and nearly certain death, would have a very high probability of occurrence, and the ejection seat would not be a viable safety measure.
I NEVER SAID ANYTHING ABOUT AN UNCOMMANDED EJECT.

I'm guessing in the context of this accident, #2 would apply here.

And in the end what happened without a chance to eject? All comments in caps are mine.

It's very obvious in your replies that you have little to no experience in ejection seat operations. That's O.K., and not a problem. Please talk to someone in real life who has experience with this that can inform you about your misconceptions about the abilities, capabilities and limitations of ejection seats. You're not the only person who is ignorant about this and thinks that an ejection seat is a "cure all" to get out of any bad situation. Most people don't realize there are real serious limitations in the use of them, which include modern "zero-zero" seats with gyroscopic stabilization.

In current USAF use, the minimum altitude to eject for controlled flight is 2000' AGL, and for uncontrolled flight, it is 10,000' AGL. Why are these minimums so seemingly high? Because the USAF knows that having a successful ejection is incredibly dependent upon so many variables to ensure survival. Going below these recommended altitudes dramatically increases the chance of death or serious injury. Moving this ejection to ground level, which is already much lower than USAF minimums, insures a high certainty of death, except under the most extraordinary circumstances, and only in a stable, controlled race car, and with perfect conditions and training of the operator.

Even in current military use, ejection seats don't have that great of a track record for survival and many pilots die. The last statistic I saw was that about 1 out of every 5 ejection attempts ends with a pilot fatality. Applying this safety device originally intended for airborne use only on a risky, high speed, unstable car is a horribly unsafe idea.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:28 am 
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Joe Scheil wrote:
Please stop this line of “reasoning”.

If anyone thinks an ejection is a SAFE way of saving a life, you need to forget that right now.

When I learned the T-33, it was briefed to me that we WOULD NOT eject if we thought we had a 99% chance of getting killed. The ejection seat was intended for the situations that meant we would have a 100% chance of getting killed. Faced with that upcoming certainty, we would then see if every part of the sequence worked as advertised, turn a couple L2, L3 vertebrae into powder and try to maintain consciousness enough to ascertain if the chute has deployed...

If anyone thinks ANY dry lake effort has the ability to afford a zero zero Martin Baker and make it fit a dry lake racecar AND have it matter in the least you are insane.

I agree 100% !


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:50 am 
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Joe Scheil wrote:
Please stop this line of “reasoning”.

If anyone thinks an ejection is a SAFE way of saving a life, you need to forget that right now.

When I learned the T-33, it was briefed to me that we WOULD NOT eject if we thought we had a 99% chance of getting killed. The ejection seat was intended for the situations that meant we would have a 100% chance of getting killed. Faced with that upcoming certainty, we would then see if every part of the sequence worked as advertised, turn a couple L2, L3 vertebrae into powder and try to maintain consciousness enough to ascertain if the chute has deployed...

If anyone thinks ANY dry lake effort has the ability to afford a zero zero Martin Baker and make it fit a dry lake racecar AND have it matter in the least you are insane.

That's all well and good if you have 5 minutes to think about and calculate the chances of being killed. IF (big IF) anyone has time to think about ejecting, there is no reasoning. You either pull or not. What is the tipping point when you're making the calculations? 99.5%? Do you round up or down? Maybe you'll have time to re-calculate to get a whole number.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:26 am 
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I may be wrong - but I didn't think the F-104 had a 0/0 ejection seat and if that's true then there would be no benefit of a hot seat when your sitting just a few feat above the desert floor...


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:32 am 
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Come on, guys. Enough is enough. It's clear that there's a big difference of opinion here. Fine. Can y'all just agree to disagree, and let's move on? Tempers are starting to flare. It won't be long until the personal attacks start. Nothing good can come of this.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:13 am 
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marine air wrote:
Maybe it’s time to do away with male and female distinctions in speed records. Not worth the risk of life.


Not sure where this comes from. There is *NO* distinction between male and female on speed records; at least certified, official ones. There are "recognized" records for women, but the FAI doesn't make a differentiation between male and female. In the end, the only certified records for anything land, air, or water, is the FAI. Guinness Book is a nice group, but they only "recognize", they don't actually "certify". $4.00 and a Guinness Record will get you a coffee and all that.

Additionally, why would there being a distinction be the difference between it being "worth" the risk of life and not? Jessi loved speed. Richard Hammond (Top Gear, The Grand Tour) loves speed. Both were seriously injured in wrecks of speed record cars. Jessi kept going, Hammond didn't. They made their own decisions on whether they thought the risk was worth it or not. That's THEIR choice and theirs alone. It's not for us to determine whether or not a person should risk their own life in pursuit of something they love, only to support them and try to help them do it as safely as possible. It's their life in the balance, not ours.


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