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Month: May 2016

170 Ton Transcontinental Record of 1905

Carl Reese TDA contributor

I’ve long said “Transcontinental records are stitched into the fabric of America”.  Americans strive to prove we can do it better, faster, safer than anyone else. Well folks, lets not forget about those that set a record with 170 ton locomotive!Train Transcontinental Record

In Los Angeles, CA on July 9th, 1905 Walter and Ella Scott charted a Santa Fe train, with the sole purpose to set the fastest transcontinental train record. They both stepped aboard a Santa Fe train Engine 442, in Los Angeles station  headed to Chicago.

East Bound to San Bernardino the engine roared, pausing only long enough to pick up a helper from the climb over Cajon Pass.

Once over the pass, the team was setting a blinding pace. Nearly a mile a minute. It was clear these men were on a mission. Once over the pass the “helper-engine” was uncoupled on the fly, darted ahead onto a spur, then closing the switch to the mainline the locomotive was able to continue without loosing momentum.

Frank Holman, a reporter on the train was quoted as saying “it’s not how fast we can run, it’s how fast we dare to run”.

Scotty sent a telegram (tweeted) President Roosevelt “An American Cowboy is coming East on a special train faster than any cowpuncher ever rode before; how much shall I break transcontinental record?”

East of Doge City, through the darkness of the second night. Josiah Gossard, a 20 year Santa Fe veteran took the throttle. Despite four slow down orders he still managed to cover 124 miles in 130 minutes, the fastest time yet recorded between Emporia and Argentine.

At 11:54 am on Tuesday, July 11th, 1905 Scotty’s special came to halt outside the Chicago station. The train had covered 2265 miles in just 44 hours and 54 minutes- an average, including all delays of 50.4 miles per hour. 11 hours and 56 minutes faster than the eastbound run has ever been made.

Scotty

Of course this article can not be written without mentioning the controversy that surrounded Walter Scott AKA “Death Valley Scotty”.   Reports are plentiful that Scotty had convinced investors in mines that didn’t exist. Bilking investors of their cash, with reportedly no results. Though his Transcontinental run is well documented and witnessed by reporters onboard the train.  However, his stories of mining success were not.

Below is a list from Wiki of the brave men that “rung out” everything those locomotives had, to beat the previous time. Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 5.37.00 PM

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89 Year Old Woman drives solo 3225 miles

Carl Reese TDA contributor

Meet Racheal Veitch a 93 years old,  isn’t your typical senior.   She likes to long road trips, guns, and driving 120 MPH.  She is the original owner of this 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente that she affectionately calls “Chariot”.  Her well kept car has 570,000 miles on the odometer, isn’t the only amazing thing about Racheal.  She very well may be the oldest person to complete a solo transcontinental run.  David Simpson watch your back!

During an interview for “Growing Bold” at the age of 89 years old.  She claims to have driven 3325 miles solo to her 70th High School Reunion and back.  Here at TDA we call that the “Double Transcontinental Run”.  Impressive!

This high mile car rivals the odometers in the now famed “2904 event” and might meet the budget restraints also.

This woman isn’t worried about driving solo. If someone out there is thinking of car jacking this lady sweet lady…. you better think twice.  She keeps a pistol under the front seat and also has her concealed weapons permit for it.

Racheal we here at TDA salute you……keep on keeping on!

https://www.growingbolder.com/romancing-the-road-259598/

Rachel Veitch

Sources: https://www.growingbolder.com/romancing-the-road-259598/

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Man Sets Solo Lawnmower Record San Fransisco to New York City.

Carl Reese TDA contributor

In March of 2003 Brad Hauter embarked on a 79 day journey across United States on lawnmower.  Traveling solo from San Fransisco to New York by way of Santa Monica.  A total of 5551 miles!  Which begs the question “Dave Black are you guys using the same GPS?”

Back in 1999 Brad had secured a 600 hour Transcontinental Lawnmower record.  His name appears in the Guinness Book of World Records.    Six hundred hours on a lawn mower has got to be brutal.   Talk about exposed to the elements this guy is tough as they come !

LAWNMAN
BRAD HAUTER AKA “LAWNMAN”

This trip is noteworthy not because it’s perhaps the slowest and longest transcontinental journey on the books.  Running across U.S.A. from San Fransisco, CA to New York, NY is faster !

It is remarkable considering the modification to the transmission only netted him a top speed of 25 MPH.   Brad support team had a minor set back when overnight at hotel his trailer and two lawn mowers were stolen half way through his trip.  Fortunately, the local Wal-Mart donated a lawn mower so he could finish his trip to New York City Battery Park.

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Gyroplane Los Angeles to New York Record

Carl Reese TDA Contributor

Dayton Dabbs (left) and John Craparo (right) Photo Credit AOPA.ORG
Dayton Dabbs (left) and John Craparo (right) Photo
Credit AOPA.ORG

 In October of 2015 John Craparo and Dayton Dabbs of Texas have claimed four new speed records for speed, over a recognized course in a gyroplane weighing less than 1,102 pounds.   The trip started in Dallas Texas to Los Angeles to New York, NY and back to Dallas Texas.  Total of 73-hour, 5,365-statue-mile flight.

The men claim three world records and one national record.  Records over a recognized course include Dallas to Los Angeles at 30 knots average ground speed, including any delays; Los Angeles to New York at 34 knots; New York to Dallas at 20 knots; and a national transcontinental record eastbound from Los Angeles to New York at 34 knots (same as the city pair “recognized course” record).

Between Los Angeles and New York the men had 16 stops for fuel.   This is only slightly less than the 24 EV charging stops between LA and NYC.   The open cockpit gyro encountered rain during the trip.  Both men watch in horror as the rains started to collect on the floor.  Eventually the rain lighted up and the water drained thru the floor.  The trip did have some additional drama, the men were running late for a scheduled landing at  LaGuardia before 6:30 am or be turned away.  They barely made their deadline.

Craparo, age 56  of Georgetown, Texas, is a retired senior vice president of Hewlett-Packard Co. He is the author of the book You Can Fly Now.  Dabbs, age 30, of Taylor, Texas, is the president of Lone Star Magni Gyro. The company trains gyroplane pilots and is a distributor for Magni gyroplanes. Both men copiloted and alternated as pilot of a Magni M-16 gyroplane for the record speeds, which were measured from initial takeoff to final landing, including all rest periods, are as follows:

Dallas to Los Angeles: average speed: 56 kph

Los Angeles to New York City: average speed: 64 kph

New York City to Dallas: average speed: 38 kph

Eastbound Transcontinental Speed Record in a Gyroplane less than 500 kg, average speed: 64 kph

Map of Gryro Record Credit AOPA.org
Map of Gryro Record
Credit AOPA.org
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World Record Segway trip from Seattle to Boston

Carl Reese TDA Contributor

Have you given any thought  of completing one of the many TDA Coast to Coast challenges?   Perhaps you’ve  already completed a coast to coast with all the amenities of a car. You know….with a nice cushy seat.  Now try imagining standing while exposed to the elements on a Segway® for the entire journey?

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 9.32.31 AM

Meet Josh Caldwell and his team.  Josh doesn’t need all those creature comforts afforded to those of us that have completed this challenge in an automobile.  He has set the bar with this “ultimate endurance cross-country trip” at 10 MPH.  It’s not a typo folks…..at 10MPH!   Josh Caldwell rode a Segway® scooter in 2004 from Seattle to Boston in 100 days.

Segway®
Segway®

Josh and his team captured the journey,  and released a documentary called  “10 MPH.”  I watched this documentary a few years back when it came up on Netflix.  For me the film captures the commitment one must have to take on such a trip .  Can you imagine Erwin Baker on Segway®?   Josh’s journey closely mimics the dirt road style journey Baker likely would have had. Although by the looks of things Josh had “groomed” dirt roads. I will also concede that Josh didn’t have to dig his scooter out of the mud and ruts as Baker did.  Even on modern equipment there is something nostalgic about doing a trip at 10 MPH.  Perhaps this is what drives men to do an annual trip on vintage motorcycles.

At the time of this article, TDA has no record of a Los Angeles to New York Run on a Segway®.  Whom will be the first between Los Angeles and New York? Who’s gears are turning?  If not a Segway how about the Segway-like “Mono-wheel” at http://www.monowiel.be ?

Photo Credit http://www.monowiel.be
Photo Credit
http://www.monowiel.be

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Bicycle Transcontinental Record

Carl Reese TDA Contributor

Christoph Strasser
Christoph Strasser

RAAM or Race Across America is the Bicycle equivalent of the Cannonball Run; a 3,000 mile transcontinental race. In 2013 Christoph Strasser broke the previous record set by Michael Secrest in 1990 by less than an hour. In 2014 Strasser bested his own time when he crossed the country from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD in 7 days, 15 hours and 56 minutes.  Christoph Strasser is an Austrian ultra cyclist who is a three-time winner and record holder for the fastest time in the Race Across America.

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 2.01.14 PM
Christoph Strasser
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Fastest Coast to Coast Record of All Time!

Carl Reese TDA Contributor

On 6th March 1990 Lt. Col. Raymond E. “Ed” Yielding and Lt. Col. Joseph T. “JT” Vida crossed “coast to coast”, a distance of 2402.05 miles, in 1 hour, 7 minutes and 53.69 seconds.  Averaging a speed of 2,124.51!

Leaking fuel cells have haunted more than one cannonball team through the years and the SR-71 “Black Bird” is no exception. It would leak copious amounts of fuel on the runway, before take off.  Due to the engineered gaps in its fuselage panels.  These gaps would eventually expand and seal themselves; from heat during flight.

SR-71 Leaking JP-7 Fuel
SR-71 Leaking JP-7 Fuel

The leaking JPL-7 fuel would be so bad, SR-71 must be refueled immediately after take off  with a KC-135 AKA Stratotanker.

KC-135Q refueling SR-71 Blackbird photo credit Wikipedia
KC-135Q refueling SR-71 Blackbird
photo credit Wikipedia

The SR-71 served with the U.S. Air Force from 1964 to 1998. A total of 32 aircraft were built; 12 were lost in accidents and none lost to enemy action.  Prototypes were first flown at Groom Lake also know as Area 51.

SR-71 in Flight over Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California
SR-71 in Flight over Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California

The Blackbird was one of many Kelly Johnson secret projects that allowed for our military to have an edge over our enemy.   The SR-71 Blackbird is now unclassified and is no longer in service.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_SR-71_Blackbird

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Longest Journey in the Oldest Car

Carl Reese TDA Contributor

Earlier this year 2015 Joe Swann and his wife Betty claim to have set the record for the longest journey in the oldest car. Departing from and returning to their home in Wrightsville PA, they circled the lower 48 in their antique 1912 EMF. The trip took them 4 months and covered 10,750 miles.

Check out more on their blog: http://bswann1912.blogspot.com

Joe and Betty Swann
Joe and Betty Swann

EMF

Photo credit: http://bswann1912.blogspot.com
Photo credit:
http://bswann1912.blogspot.com
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Longest journey on Motorized Bicycle

Carl Reese TDA Contributor 

The longest journey on a motorized cycle is 4,443.4 miles traveled in a span of a month achieved by Troy Rank in 2014.

Electrical Engineer Troy Rank started his journey on August 1st of 2014. He begun in Buffalo, New York and traveled through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, and Pennsylvania before making his way back to Ithaca New York on August 30th. This feat landed him the Guinness World Record for longest journey on a motorized cycle trumping the previous record of 4,000 miles. It’s also notable that he completed his journey alone, with no support.

Troy Rank
Troy Rank
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First Coast to Coast on Electric Motorcycle

Carl Reese TDA Contributor

In 2013 Terry Hershner became the the first man to drive coast to coast on an electric motorcycle. He rode a 2012 Zero S ZF9 electric motorcycle. Terry studied Electrical and Mechanical Engineering at North Carolina State University.  This knowledge came in handy as he made serious modifications to the Zero Motorcycle.

Terry’s solo trip from San Diego, CA to Jacksonville, FL in five days, or 135 hours.  He came in 36 hours before another team that was also out to set the record.

Terry did have some trouble along the way. One charging station was locked up and he managed to use a 240 outlet at a nearby welding shop.  He also had to swap out the motor due to a loose sprocket.  The mechanical problems were only compounded by the sleep deprivation.

During his trip used the existing charging network infrastructure that was available to the public to complete his run.  Terry did not a support vehicle for his run.

Terry lowered the coefficient by installing a Vetter Streamliner fairing, and installing two charging ports to increase charging time. Talk about hacking skills!  You can keep track of “Electric Terry” on Facebook 

Terry Hershner First man to cross the U.S. on Electric Motorcycle
Terry Hershner First man to cross the U.S. on Electric Motorcycle                    Photo Credit Wikipedia
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