In this update: Radio communications tested; Mid wheels installed; Fuselage face lifting; Parachute cannisters modification completed; New jacking points for rear axle fabricated

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Another fine weather day as Team NAE signed in: Ed Shadle, Les Holm, Lars Pedersen, Steve Rima, Jon Higley, Von Armstrong, Sean Rondestvet, Jason Mitchell, Keith Zanghi, Eric Helpenstell, Steve and Libby Wallace

Special thanks to Paul Davis for letting us borrow one of his trucks

 Last Saturday saw the two Steves, Wallace and Rima, get a very early start on the road to Alvord Desert; a 12 hour drive in the communications van.  Here is their report:

The trip to Alvord went really well.  The new communication van, as expected, did not get the best mileage at 8 mpg.  Paul Davis from the Alvord Ranch had a truck waiting for the team.  It worked out great and allowed the crew to park the communication rig and use the pick up truck for drving up and down the course.


The first work day was spent setting up the 50 foot towers and getting the ground radios running. The plan was to set them up for the worse case conditions with the receive antenna at the far end…they were able to get full coverage of the lakebed.

The air radio patched into the repeater system worked fine, but only had a range of a few hundred feet.  It turns out the antenna for the handheld air-band radio was the wrong one for that band and wouldn’t resonate.  So the crew was unable to get a full range test for that.  It turns out the Tropos Routers were too heavy for the 50 foot antennas, so the team thought about  the nearby Steen Mountains and proceeded to drive to the top.  Steve Wallace set the router up on a standard tripod.  The guys were able to get full coverage of the desert and could be duplicated with the voice repeater.  Antenna problem solved; just find a mountain!  The team spent a total of three days at the Alvord Lakebed.


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After some bearings issues in the mid wheels were corrected, Jason and Sean put the wheels back in place.

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A lot of focus is on preparing our 56 foot long, 7+ton jet car for its display at the SEMA conference, first week of November in Las Vegas.  We want it looking sharp for the thousands of passersby that will be stopping to ask about the project.  Today the sponsor decals that are on the fuselage were updated and some new ones applied.  Keith went through a roll of special masking tape, masking off areas that will be repainted.  Eddie Harris will be working his artistic magic in giving the giant eagles, one on each side of the fuselage, a new look. Keith has been applying new paint to the compartment panels that have been repaired.  Les had all  of the rear axle fairings get a bright new coat of paint. 

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Jack points machined by Lars Pederesen

Another feature that was added today will be used on future display events.  Two new jack points were fabricated by Lars.  One for each side of the rear axle.  These will accommodate the use of bottle jacks to raise either rear wheel a couple of inches high, allowing the wheel to be turned by hand.  People are often fascinated by the unique magnetic brake assembly. Now they will be able to see, close up, how the use of rare earth magnets provide no contact, frictionless stopping power at the end of high speed runs. 

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Ed solved another problem that was evident during our last speed runs.  The rear facing on board camera that viewed the parachute deployments also revealed the hinged cannister covers flapping madly in the wind. He fashioned  catch arms that have rare earth magnets attached.  The covers fly open, swing down, and are captured firmly by the magnets. 


 During a break for lunch, Ed and Keith updated the team and more discussion centered on the logistics involved in attending the SEMA conference.

Special thanks this week to Debbie Holm for baking cookies for us!
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F4 Phantom arrives at Colonel Joe Kittinger Park – Please Donate

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Sherry and Colonel Joe Kittinger

Big things are happening in Orlando Florida.  The 30 ton F-4 Phantom arrived and will be repainted and placed on permanent display at Colonel Joe Kittinger Park at Orlando Executive Airport.  You can help deter some of the costs in a private fundraising.  For more information please contact Carolyn Fennel or Rod Johnson in the Office of  Public Affairs at the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority at 407-825-2055.  Click on the photo below and to watch the video.

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The LeMay Family Collection

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New Lenovo Support

 A new level of support from Lenovo is changing the landscape in our operations.  In the very near future, the website will be residing on servers on loan from Lenovo.  A new ThinkServer will now be hosting all the content from the website, and provide storage for our engineering and intellectual property needs.

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 Lenovo is heavily embedded into our daily operations, with ThinkPads and ThinkStations providing support for website production, engineering consisting of mechanical and structural analysis and aerodynamic capabilities.  Now we are pleased to announce the addition of new Lenovo ThinkServers to the North American Eagle™ team.

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ThinkPad, ThinkStation and now ThinkServer

North American Eagle™ on Public Display at the Grand National Roadster Show!  Sponsored by AERIAL Machine and Tool.

The Grand National Roadster Show trip was sponsored by AERIAL Machine and Tool

 Since 1926, AERIAL Machine and Tool has been a top supplier for the US Department of Defense, a distinction that continues today.  The company expanded as the nation prepared for World War II.  Sewing capabilities were added and the company began to specialize in life-safety equipment, parachute hardware and accessories, belts, harnesses, restraints and case goods.  These products remain an important part of AERIAL’s business even today.  They support every branch of the US Armed Services: Coast Guard, Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force.

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For 10 years AERIAL Machine and Tool has been supporting the efforts of the North American Eagle™.  We are proud to be associated with them!  Visit their website and see the amazing contribution they are making to our country!

Mobile Apps Keep Improving!

 We like to keep introducing new features for all of our mobile users, but sometimes it’s important to give it a new look as well.  We are excited to announce that NAE Mobile 3.1 for iOS is now available!  It has a new interface that looks absolutely incredible.  The update also includes support for the new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.  We highly recommend that you upgrade to iOS 7 so that you can take full advantage of this update.  Download the app by clicking on the App Store logo below.

For all of our Android users, we have released an updated version of NAE Mobile, which now includes Android 4.4 KitKat Compatibility!  You can download the update by going to the Google Play Store.

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 Follow us on Twitter @landspeed763 

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   Eric Wittler’s Chasing provides images to the North American Eagle™