One Snake River Canyon tribute jump called off…

…But another is still going ahead in September.

Posted: 12 August 2014
by Visordown News

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.

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Discuss this story

Not deliberately being negative here, and good luck to all involved, but what is the actual point of this? Even if they manage it, it can't really be considered a success where Evel Knievel failed, since 40 years worth of technological development is in between them.

It would be like saying Boeing succeeded where the Wright brothers failed.

Unless of course they are using the exact same machine? In which case it would be Einstein's definition of insanity. Am I missing something?

Posted: 12/08/2014 at 17:20

TV rights... ka-ching!

Posted: 13/08/2014 at 02:18

It's a rocket with two wheels, and it's no more a motorbike than a Saturn V with two wheels. It still needs a parachute to land, so is no longer under the control of the "rider".

Posted: 13/08/2014 at 08:51

I have vivid memories of watching the original attempt live as a wide-eyed American 9-yr-old in 1974. I wonder if he would have made it if the chute hadn't malfunctioned and opened too soon. That said, I don't consider a rocket with two wheels attached to it a "motorcycle" - and as for the stunt itself... being able to fire a rocket across a canyon doesn't really prove anything when we have others that can span continents (or go to Moon - or Mars!). Still, I appreciate the old-school stunt show spectacle of this new attempt and will follow it just to see what happens.

Posted: 14/08/2014 at 15:46

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