™In this update:  The Eagle weighs in; Test run fairings completed; Systems checked; Load up begins; Kudos to Red Bull Stratos and Felix Baumgartner; Ping Fu’s new book, Bend, Don’t Break.

This Weeks Featured Sponsors

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Turning out for load up day:  Steve Wallace, Ed Shadle, Von Armstrong, Keith Zanghi, Tom Tiede, Bernard McVay, Chris Greene, Layne Smith, Rich Pengelley, Omar Chramosta,  John Drury, Steve Green, Brandyn Bayes, and John Winchester

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A last minute snag in getting the car weighed was solved during the week after we contacted Meridian Scale in Fife, Wa.  Todd Thompson, project manager, came through in a big way (no pun intended) when he trucked on out to the hangar with three large but portable scales.  Todd directed the set up system and scales were positioned under the two rear wheels and the front nose wheel.  The beast was weighed in place, under fulll running conditions, and it weighed in at an impressive 13,736 pounds. From these figures, our team aerodynamicists can determine the car’s center of gravity and continue to analyze the effects of subsonic and supersonic air flow over the fuselage.

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Team member and sponsor Steve Green drove down from his Eagle Machine, Inc. business, just over the border in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada.  He came towing a 38 foot 5th wheel that will be used to haul equipment out to our test site.  Newly acquired and fully equipped, the trailer;  Steve was all smiles as he showed team members around. 

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 Work on the fairings went on right up to load time and included applying some LizardSkin® sponsor decals to the newly painted members.

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Steve Wallace discovered a compatibility problem in the brake temperature sensor system and spent most of the day building up a new circuit board from scratch. He had to modify the cockpit instrument panel to accomodate it.

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The work day concluded with the heavy stuff.  The running axle was removed and loaded into the trailer, along with its new fairing assembly.  The loading axle was installed in its place.   The newly weighed 56 foot long jet car was coaxed on up on the loading ramps and hauled aboard.

More loading work to be accomplished during this week and then the team will be heading south to the Alvord Desert next Saturday, Oct. 20th.  We hope to keep  folks up to date as the test runs are conducted during our week on the lake bed.

Felix Baumgartner breaks Col Joe Kittinger’s Record Jump

Hearty congratulations go out from Team NAE to the Red Bull Stratos project and to Felix Baumgartner for his record setting performance:

Highest flight in a manned balloon,  128,097 ft.,  and highest free fall (using drogue chute) from the  23 miles altitude

Fastest free fall exceeded the speed of sound at 834 mph. and lasted 4 minutes and 19 seconds before main chute deployment



Our sincere congratulations also go out to Col. Joe Kittinger, retired USAF; decorated U.S Air Force fighter pilot and test pilot,  ex POW, master balloonist, and good friend of the North American Eagle™ project. Fifty two years ago he paved the way and set the records that held until  this day.  On August 16, 1960, from a launch site near Alamogordo, New Mexico and Holloman Air Force Base,  the Excelsior III project put his name in the record books.  If you viewed the spectacular TV coverage of the Stratos  jump by Felix, you probably would like to see Col. Joe’s jump…looking much the same…except in black and white and way back technology.  Check it out on a google search :

Jumped from an altitude of 102,800 ft….free fell at a maximum speed of 714 mph…and still holds the record of the longest lasting fall of 4 minutes and 36 seconds. 

If you watched the latest record setting events, you saw Col. Joe at his station in mission control as he talked Felix through the pre jump check list and count down.  He has been a consultant and mentor from the onset. He was rooting for Felix to break his record.  Records are made to be broken, and these will continue to add to the annals of space exploration. If you are intrigued by this event…start from the early beginning.  Read the Autobiography of Colonel Joe Kittinger:  “Come Up and Get Me“- Published by the University of New Mexico Press with a forward by Neil Armstrong.

Ping Fu, Founder and CEO of Geomagic,  has a new book


 Ping Fu (next to Ed) and her sister Hong – Their story in a new book, Bend, Not Break.

“Bamboo is flexible, bending with the wind but never breaking, capable of adapting to any circumstance. It suggests resilience, meaning that we have the ability to bounce back even from the most difficult times. . . . Your ability to thrive depends, in the end, on your attitude to your life circumstances. Take everything in stride with grace, putting forth energy when it is needed, yet always staying calm inwardly.”

—Ping Fu’s “Shanghai Papa”

Ping Fu knows what it’s like to be a child soldier, a factory worker, and a political prisoner. To be beaten and raped for the crime of being born into a well-educated family. To be deported with barely enough money for a plane ticket to a bewildering new land. To start all over, without family or friends, as a maid, waitress, and student.

Ping Fu also knows what it’s like to be a pioneering software programmer, an innovator, a CEO, and Inc. magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year. To be a friend and mentor to some of the best-known names in tech­nology. To build some of the coolest new products in the world. To give speeches that inspire huge crowds. To meet and advise the president of the United States.

It sounds too unbelievable for fiction, but this is the true story of a life in two worlds.

Born on the eve of China’s Cultural Revolution, Ping was separated from her family at the age of eight. She grew up fighting hunger and humiliation and shielding her younger sister from the teenagers in Mao’s Red Guard. At twenty-five, she found her way to the United States; her only resources were $80 in traveler’s checks and three phrases of English: thank you, hello, and help.

Yet Ping persevered, and the hard-won lessons of her childhood guided her to success in her new home­land. Aided by her well-honed survival instincts, a few good friends, and the kindness of strangers, she grew into someone she never thought she’d be—a strong, independent, entrepreneurial leader. A love of problem solving led her to computer science, and Ping became part of the team that created NCSA Mosaic, which became Netscape, the Web browser that forever changed how we access information. She then started a company, Geomagic, that has literally reshaped the world, from personalizing prosthetic limbs to repair­ing NASA spaceships.


Bend, Not Break depicts a journey from imprisonment to freedom, and from the dogmatic anticapitalism of Mao’s China to the high-stakes, take-no-prisoners world of technology start-ups in the United States. It is a tribute to one woman’s courage in the face of cruelty and a valuable lesson on the enduring power of resilience.

North American Eagle Website and Mobile App Updates

For those of you have not had the chance to explore our updated website, here is a quick overview of all of our recent changes.  First of all, the entire interface has been redone to support superior viewing from tablets and smartphones.  The  menu has been simplified for easy navigation throughout the entire site.  As part of the update, we are proud to announce the upcoming release of the Member Center.  The new Member Center will have exclusive content for our fans.  The Member Center will initially be available to our Eagle’s Lair Members.  More information will be available soon.

Updates for NAE Mobile are also now available to connect with the new website.  These updates include improved access to Project Updates as well as all of the other pages.  Available exclusively on the iPad is the ability to shop through the Gear Store for your favorite items as well as access to the Member Center when it becomes available.  The iPad version will also now rotate to any rotation for optimal viewing.

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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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Lenovo Video

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Eric Wittler With His Lenovo Laptop

All home page photos by Eric Wittler of ChasingClouds.net.