…But another is still going ahead in September.
NOT one but two daredevils have been planning to succeed where Evel Knievel failed by clearing the legendary Snake River Canyon in Idaho in simultaneous efforts next month.
Now ‘Big Ed’ Beckley – who said he’d use a proper motorcycle rather than a Knievel-style rocket for the jump – has announced that he’s not going ahead with it, saying that a planned TV deal that would have paid for the event has fallen through.
It’s not all bad news, though, as the rival team, led by businessman Scott Record and engineer Scott Truax – son of Bob Truax, designer of Knievel’s original Snake River rocket bike – is still forging ahead and plans to make the jump on 7 September, 40 years on from Knievel’s original attempt (8 September 1974). Their creation will be ridden/piloted by Hollywood stuntman Eddie Braun.
The Braun/Record/Truax effort is looks similar to the original, steam-powered Skycycle X-2. Just like the original, it’s set to be launched from a rail and float back to earth under a parachute after passing the far side of the canyon. The ramp itself is currently being built at a spot around six miles east of Knievel’s launch point, and three new Skycycles have been made. Presumably, just as during the original attempt, the first will be launched unmanned to check the set-up. The team has even recreated Kneivel’s original support van to house the telemetry and work as an on-site HQ.
You can catch up with the teams plans, and see pictures of its rocket, at its Facebook page.
Does firing a manned rocket across a canyon mean much in 2014, when most of us will climbing into far bigger aluminium tubes and jetting thousands of miles for our summer holidays? Not really, but then again, Knievel’s effort came five years after men had landed on the moon, it was a failure, and despite all that it’s still remembered, 40 years on, as probably the greatest example of daredevilry ever conceived.
Posted: 12/08/2014 at 17:20
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