Wings Magazine

Embry-Riddle University’s Jet-Powered Dragster Enters Fifth Season

Nov. 26, 2008 - Daytona Beach, Fl - Turbine-engine tunes with an emphasis on afterburner bass notes will make beautiful music as Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University unleashes a symphony of speed on North America in 2009 when the student-designed Embry-Riddle Jet Dragster hits the highways for the next racing season.

November 26, 2008  By Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

The Embry-Riddle Jet Racing Team is perfectly positioned for its biggest season ever with more than 25 major drag-racing venues already scheduled
for 2009, including major events in Bradenton, Fla., Norwalk, Ohio, Atlanta,
Chicago, and the EAA airshow in Oshkosh, Wis.

Chris and Elaine Larsen with their son, Andrew, pose next to the jet dragster in front of Embry-Riddle's College of Aviation building. 


The Florida-based team is spending the off-season preparing its equipment
and spares for the fifth full season of exhibition racing of the Embry-Riddle jet car. The Embry-Riddle Jet Dragster, driven by veteran drag-racing driver Elaine Larsen, is powered by a Pratt & Whitney J-60 engine and accelerates
from zero to 60 mph in less than a second and reaches top speeds approaching 300 mph in a quarter of a mile. Larsen is one of only three women currently driving jet-powered race vehicles in the United States.
"We have the best crew, engineers, and spare parts inventory in the
business, giving the Embry-Riddle team an unparalleled position in theexhibition racing industry," said Elaine Larsen.

"We're so proud to exhibit this bio-fueled engineering marvel to mainstream America. We're touching people who have a passion for high-performance vehicles and the aerospace industry.” but may never have heard of Embry-
Riddle, the world's leading aviation and aerospace education institution."


The Embry-Riddle Jet Dragster, built in 2004 with the help of Embry-Riddle aerospace engineering and aviation maintenance students, is a feature
attraction at key airshows and drag-racing events during the year due to its impressive 6,000 horsepower engine and more than 6,500
pounds of thrust.

An all-new jet dragster, based on the existing student-designed car, also is
in the works and will debut in 2009, according to Larsen. In addition, Larsen
Motorsports and Embry-Riddle will continue their "green fuel" research in 2009 by using a variety of biomass-based fuel combinations in the cars' engines.
Upon completion of the new jet dragster, the current Embry-Riddle car will
be  retired to become a display car and serve as a running backup after it undergoes a full disassembly, major inspection, and cosmetic cleanup.


"Big changes are coming this year for the Embry-Riddle Jet Racing Team,"
said Chris Larsen, vice president of Larsen Motorsports. "Our motto this year  is, 'the students are the stars.' As we move forward with the design and
development of the new car, students will be intimately involved and hands-
on more than ever before. It's an exciting opportunity for Embry-Riddle
students to get real-world, high-performance vehicle challenges in a true
professional race team atmosphere, both on and off the track."


Stories continue below