Thursday, May 02, 2013

"JATO Rocket Car: Mission Accomplished?" (is the 3rd time a charm?) - updated

The Mythbusters kicked of their 10th season with a third try at the JATO Chevy rocket car myth. A fitting start since the first try was on their very first episode. In short, the myth says that  says some guy attached a JATO unit to his Impala. Supposedly, he went airborne and crashed into the side of a mountain. Their first attempt employed three motors. The Impala hit 300 mph but didn't fly.  They tried a second time in a later episode. They attempted to launch the car from a ramp but one or more of the motors CATO'ed before it took off. For this third attempt, they went bigger.

The rockets appeared to be 6 inch (P-class ?) of unknown origin reportedly built by FAR member John Newman. They converted 2 Impalas for RC-control and rocket power. The first car ran on 4 motors and ran over a simulated bump in the road. The second car used 6 motors and was to fly off a ramp. They also modified a huge dump truck to serve as a mobile command center. I enjoy watching the building as much or more than the results.

I'll cut the commentary to avoid any significant spoilers. I'll offer this photo, extracted from their Tumblr site.