In this update: Fire fighting system improved; Rear axle and parachute cannisters receiving new fairings; front brake hydraulic lines checked; message from Col Joe Kittinger.
Today’s Featured Sponsors
Working today: Ed Shadle, Steve Wallace, Keith Zanghi, Von Armstrong, Bernard McVay, Chris Greene, Larry Martinson, Omar Chramosta, John Drury, Bill Eckberg, Layne Smith
Von testing the new AFFF unit with water
Bernard McVay arrived with a pick up load of material for the rear fairings, cut to specifications and provided by Hjorth Consultanting in Ballard WA and Everett Steel Company. Both long time sponsors of the North American Eagle™ Our good sponsors at Central Welding Supply also were a tremendous help in upgrading our fire fighting capability. Two new nitrogen pressure regulator sets and a large cylinder of nitrogen gas that will charge our AFFF Fire Fighting Foam tanks made a big difference. The switch over from individual small scuba air tanks to the the large single nitrogen cylinder provided a much longer fire stream at a higher and constant pressure. Today’s test also employed a new filler pipe that will better mix the foam concentrate with the water in the tanks.
Ready for paint
Keith and Bernard went to work shaping, fitting, and welding the steel sheet metal into the aerodynamically designed fairing that attaches to the rear axle. It encloses the parachute cannisters and the rear axle area between them.
More work continues on our to do list as the test date nears. Bill worked on the camera wiring and he and Ed tested the hydraulics to the front brake. Our array of batteries that supply the on board systems were tested and put on trickle charge. More to do with limited time to do it.
Ed briefed the team on his advance run last week to the Alford Desert to scout out accomodations and other requirements for the test session. He is also gathering information from team members on their travel plans, length of stay. and ride partners.
We are looking forward to a great test run session and another milestone behind us on the way to a new world landspeed record.
Col Joe Kittinger Record to be broken this week
Lontime friend and consultant to the NAE is Col Joe Kittinger. He sent along this message the other day about Felix Baumgartners record setting jump on October 8th.
Monday, Sherry and I depart for Roswell NM where we will be preparing for the Project Stratos Jump from above 120,000 feet. As you know we have already successfully completed two manned jumps from 72,000 and 97,000 feet in preparation for the next jump from near space. The balloon which has a capacity of 29 million cubic feet is huge, weighing almost 4000 pounds and standing over 700 feet above the ground on launch. As a result, to inflate this very fragile balloon requires perfect weather and wind conditions. The earliest date that we plan on launching is 8 October just at sunup. The climb to altitude will require about 2 hours 15 minutes. Felix should go supersonic after about 30 seconds of free fall. His free fall should last about 5 minutes and 30 seconds before he opens his main parachute about 5,000 feet above the desert.
You can keep up with the progress of the project by viewing the internet at www.redbullstratos.com The inflation, launch, climb to altitude, and jump will be broadcast live over this web site. We expect over 300 of the media to attend the launch, including the BBC which is making a documentary of the Project and jumps.
I have worked for over 4 years on this project and have been honored to be a part of this historic occasion. Felix is ready, the team is ready, the capsule is ready -all we need is good weather ( and some Divine cooperation) to successfully conclude Project Stratos. We hope that you will join us by watching this exciting event…Col Joe Kittinger
Felix Buamgartner will break Col Joe Kittinger’s record setting jump on October 8th
New iOS App
Android smart phone users have been using the NAE™ App for several months. Now iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users can download the free app! Read all the updates, and view photos and video from your smart phone. iOS 6 will be available immediately following the public release on Wednesday September 19th.
New Lenovo Video
Lenovo recently released a new video featuring the North American Eagle™ . The NAE™ scenes were edited by Steve Wallace. Team NAE™ uses Lenovo ThinkStations and ThinkPad for aerodynamic and engineering analysis. Click on the photo below and watch this exciting video!
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Eric Wittler With His Lenovo Laptop
All home page photos by Eric Wittler of ChasingClouds.net.