Air Force Reserve Jet Car Takes on Reno Air Race Attendees

LAS VEGAS, Sept. 12 /PRNewswire/ — In a fraction of the time it takes to sit through a red light, the Air Force Reserve Jet Car accelerates from zero to 400 mph! This jet-powered car, made of aluminum stretched over a chrome-moly chassis, will create mini sonic booms as it thunders down the runway at Reno Stead Field, during the National Championship Air Races, Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18.

In fact, the Air Force Reserve Jet Car Team believes their vehicle can hit the 400 mph mark in less time than it takes to dial home on a cell phone — that’s about eight seconds. So, the Jet Car Team has issued a challenge to those attending the Air Races. They can test their phone dialing skills against the Jet Car’s speed. It’s a daring race between phone and car.

The Air Force Reserve Above & Beyond Jet Car boasts a Westinghouse J-34 jet engine that can crank out 10,000 horsepower and about 6,000 pounds of thrust. The engine, originally designed for the North American Buckeye T-2A Aircraft, is one of the fastest land vehicles and will show off its capabilities in Reno.

This 26-foot long streak of red, white and blue is a marvel of engineering, but not exactly fuel efficient. The Jet Car uses about 40 gallons of diesel fuel as it streaks 1800 feet down the runway, which makes driving this vehicle akin to sitting on a rocket. To prove that point, the car has its own on-board fire extinguishing system.

The piloting duties primarily fall to Scott Hammack, who will be driving during the Air Races, and the backup pilot is Bill Braack, who recently retired as a flight engineer with the Air Force Reserve. The third very important member of the Jet Car crew is Scott’s wife, Linda Hammack, who handles all the logistics for the team.

During the performance, the 2,300-pound package of energy will race a plane. Even giving that plane a head start, the Jet Car Team is confident their vehicle will win. In that effort, the car pilot will hit about 400 mph, which will generate 4.5 G forces. To the pilot, that feels like a pressure of more than four times his body weight. Then comes the challenge of stopping the Jet Car. A ring slot parachute deploys to slow down the car and that hits the pilot with 11 Gs of lateral negative force.

The Jet Car travels around the country in a Kenworth tractor trailer measuring 79.5 feet in length, 13.5 feet high and 8.5 feet wide. The monster truck is wrapped in images of the Air Force Reserve’s F-16s.

In addition to handling roughly 30 percent of the work of the U.S. Air Force, members of the Air Force Reserve fulfill a vital role in American life.

Stationed locally, these men and women serve globally. They are the Hurricane Hunters, who fly into the center of fierce storms to take meteorological readings. They fly aerial fire fighting missions to help control forest and wild fires. They are members of aero-medical teams, who handle evacuations and transportation of critical care cases. And, they comprise para-rescue teams that handle search and rescue missions, as well as a host of other missions that support Air Force operations around the world.

The Air Force Reserve is proud to support the Jet Car and its unique place in American aviation.

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