The rain thundered to the ground, and with it, came the hopes of many crashing down right alongside it. As they boarded their plane on that cold October day, it slowly became more apparent that perhaps all their hard work had been for naught. 763. A number that continued to boggle the imagination. It was far beyond anything they had even dreamed of. But they knew it was real, just as real as their dreams had been. The British had just set a new land speed record. 763 MPH, it just didn’t seem at all possible. But it continued to become more real with each passing day, as did the knowledge that it wouldn’t be their names in the record books.
As Ed slammed the phone down, those same feelings of disparity began to rise in his throat. The North American Eagle project was supposed to be a fresh start, a break from what had been done before. So why did it feel like all of the same problems were still there? The project could never even get off the ground if he didn’t find an F–104 air-frame. He didn’t want to buy an intact plane; they would just end up tearing it apart. Though it wasn’t like he could afford it anyway.
With a shriek of tortured metal, Keith knew that something had gone horribly wrong. They had just emptied the air canister, turning the engine over. That’s when it all went wrong. The blades of pure titanium began to shoot out of the back of the car. He gazed in horror at what looked like sparklers, firing from the back of the engine. Keith knew that the danger of what he saw, but he couldn’t tear his gaze away. Off in the distance, he could barely hear someone yelling to run, to get away. It was at that moment that Cam ran up to the cockpit waving at Ed to shut it down. As the noise wound down, Keith could only stand there and wonder what had gone so horribly wrong.
Robots were running everywhere. It was a mad rush to be ready to compete, and no one was ready. Whenever asked, people would always say they needed just five more minutes to rebuild a part, or clear a drivetrain. But it was never just five minutes, it was an environment of pure stress. A stress to build a better robot than every other team, to not fail in fixing the robot, and to not become exhausted, despite the grueling three day schedule. Brandyn loved every last minute of it. The whole thing was a feeling of adrenaline that he couldn’t find anywhere else, driving a competitive spirit. What he didn’t know is what lay just across the aisle.
She lived for afterburners. Although her life didn’t start out that way. Jets had not been her dream, much less trying to set a land speed record with one. Racing, on the other hand, was an entirely different story. As a young girl, Jessi wanted to do anything and everything that involved speed and adventure, so naturally, cars and racing were at the top of her list. People told her she was not normal, that she should not try, and she would never be successful in those journey’s, although the support she needed and the reminders to never give up came from her family. They told her that no matter what, she should do what she wanted to, and not to listen to what others had to say. So she did exactly that; she grew up racing, building, and doing all her heart led her to.
The North American Eagle project began as nothing more than an idea. It became the love and passion of two people, Ed and Keith. And they in turn have inspired countless people to believe that such a dream is possible. That dream, as crazy as it may have seemed, is what really defines the Pioneering Spirit behind this project. It’s a spirit of going to new places, meeting new people, and doing things that have never been done.