|WikiProject Aviation||(Rated Stub-class)|
a rocket is a tool? Kingturtle 15:19, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
Was failed or successful?
This stub could desperately use some imagery. If noone steps up to the challenge, I'll see if I can find something in the public-domain on the topic. Yue.san 10:21, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
This article is misleading. Robert Truax wasn't a NASA engineer; his rocketry experience was in the U.S. Navy and at Aerojet General. Evel Knievel's Skycycle X-2 wasn't a motorcycle and didn't even resemble a motorcycle. Even though it had tandem wheels like a motorcycle buried in the fuselage, it was a stubby, steam-powered winged projectile launched from a rail. That's right, steam-powered. It didn't use chemical rocket engines. Instead, it contained a pressure vessel that was charged with steam from a boiler next to the launch rail. To "fire" it, a plug in the exhaust nozzle was released, allowing the superheated steam to escape and push the craft on a short ballistic flight. During Knievel's infamous failed attempt to "jump" the Snake River Canyon, the parachute deployed prematurely. Analysis of film records of the event showed the parachute coming out the back of the craft even as it was leaving the launch rail. As a result, Knievel experienced tremendous acceleration as the Skycycle was launched, then was slammed forward in his safety harness when the parachute inflated. He got a couple of black eyes and a big scare for his efforts. The cause of the failure was reportedly later traced to a faulty umbilical cable design. The electrical systems in the Skycycle were powered by an external source while it was on the ground, much like NASA's manned rockets. At liftoff a wire rope was supposed to yank the umbilical cable connector out of its mating connector on the Skycycle. Unfortunately, since Robert Truax used an off-the-shelf connector, the connector pins broke contact in an unpredictable order, causing an electrical glitch that triggered the parachute deployment immediately, instead of after a time delay. The problem could have been fixed by making certain pins in the connector longer than others, guaranteeing that various circuits broke predictably. Unfortunately for Truax, Knievel had had enough after that experience, and no further attempts were made to jump the canyon.
I watched the event on a live ABC network television broadcast, and there was plenty of coverage in print at the time. (Yeah, I'm that old!) —QuicksilverT @ 15:10, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
- I saw the broadcast too, it was a BIG deal, as were all of Knieval's ABC televised jumps. Thanks for the info, I'd always been under the mistaken impression Evel got cold feet as it launched and in panic pulled it himself-glad to hear that was not the case. Knieval, despite some bad press for his other than daredevil activities, was a hero to any red blooded young boy of the era, and he often took unnecessary chances with adverse weather or questionable equipment rather than disappoint a paying crowd. In that respect he is in a class of his own. I see someone has tagged this article for questionable notability. It does need improvement but as this was the biggest stunt by one of the greatest daredevils ever, and hero to millions, that really lacks perspective and suggests someone merely doesn't remember it or is too young to have lived at the time to know how notable it was. Very unencyclopedic, IMO. Batvette (talk) 07:37, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
x1 superficially resembled a motorcycle
um,no. The cited article actually says exactly the opposite. the x1 wheels protrude slightly more and appear to be motorcycle wheels, but otherwise there is no resemblence to a bike.