Ladies and Gentlemen:

In this update: Highlights from engine test in Shelton,  Washington, with Valerie Thompson at the controls.


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It was a bright sunny day in Shelton Washington as team members, friends, sponsors and visitors came out to Sanderson Air Field to witness the engine test of the North American Eagle™. It was also graduation day for Valerie Thompson as she climbed into the 56 foot long vehicle and got some on the job training;  starting the car, going into afterburner and then learning how to properly shut the engine down.



The day before,  John Drury and Ed Shadle drove the race car transporter down to Shelton in preparation for the next day’s event. It was a good thing too, since the water pump went out on the way. Luckily the good folks at Walrath Trucking came to the rescue and lent us their brand new Kenworth tractor! A special thanks to Kirk Waage and Tom Walrath Sr. for coming to the rescue.

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First order of business was to unload the 13,000 lb car and get it secured. With nearly every team member in attendance, it was an easy job. This is probably the 200th time the car has been unloaded from the trailer. A first time observer commented how very little communication was going on, and yet everyone came together and suddenly the car was sitting on the ground! They didn’t know we have had a lot of practice!


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                     Crew Chief  Bill Eckberg walked around the car with  Valerie. He went into the details of all the systems and how the test was going to proceed.


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Special guest today was Valerie’s proud grandfather, Dick Holman (above) who came out to see the activities.


Jay Hupp and John Dobson

We have many more photos that we will be releasing this week, but before we end this update we need to thank two people who  made today’s test session a real success;  Port of Shelton Commissioner Jay Hupp and Executive Director John Dobson. They pulled out all the stops and really made working with the Port an e asy adventure. Thanks guys!


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All photos on the NAE Home page were taken by Eric Wittler at Thanks Eric!