North American Eagle® – A Unique and Complex Race Car
We have a mission of breaking the World Land Speed Record of 763 MPH. Starting with the scrapyard fuselage of a cold-war era jet plane, we have developed one of the most sophisticated racing machines ever made. At its core, the North American Eagle® is a supersonic car. Combining breakthrough technology and engineering, this car can push limits that one never knew existed
Started in 1998 by Ed Shadle and Keith Zanghi, the North American Eagle® project began as nothing more than an idea. That idea was to take a jet fighter fuselage and turn it into the fastest land racing machine in history. Rather than starting from scratch, they decided to use the proven features of the F-104 Starfighter jet planes, the sleek design with enormous air intake capability and a turbojet engine that made them the fastest planes in the world in their time, the first to fly at Mach 2 airspeed.
From Chase Aircraft to Land Speed Challenger
This car started out as Lockheed F-104A Starfighter, stationed at Edwards Air Force Base in California. It was used as a chase plane for some of the greatest experimental aircraft in history, among them the X-15 Rocket Plane, SR-71 Blackbird, and the XB-70 Bomber. She was flown by astronauts and the nation’s best test pilots. She served our country well. But time wore her down.
By 1998, the F-104 designated 56-0763 was beyond shambles, retired and scrapped, doing little to showcase the rich history of the aircraft. The North American Eagle® project gave it new life so that it can once again be one of the fastest machines on Earth, still using tail number 0763, ironically the current land speed record number to be broken.
Powered by Technology. Driven By Ingenuity.
Using some of the latest developments in technology, from magnetic braking to cloud computing, the North American Eagle® is ready for any speed challenge.
Combined with human ingenuity, the technological developments made to the car are allowing us to safely push the boundaries of speed further than ever before.
The Team: Ordinary People doing Extraordinary Things!
Our crew is made up of some of the very best in their engineering and technical fields, from mechanical to electrical to aerodynamics. This is a team of absolute intelligence and innovation. When they come together, they are selflessly building an amazing piece of history.
It is not only those on the team that continues to inspire us. It is the people that have supported us along the way. Without these devoted individuals and sponsors, we could never have reached where we are today. With the passing of Ed Shadle in September of 2018, Jessi Combs has moved into the primary driver role and Eric Wittler as backup driver.
Continuing Our Journey: Where We Go From Here
The real question is where we are going from here. To date, we have made over 57 test runs, attaining a top speed of 515 MPH; we are not through by any means.
In September of 2018, the Eagle, with Jessi Combs at the controls, made a 483.227 MPH run. In 2019 she will attempt to better the 512 MPH Fastest Woman record, as well as the single-engine speed record of just over 633 MPH set by Richard Noble. Both of these are major milestones on the road to 800 MPH.