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Jessie Combs Smashes Women’s Land Speed Record

JessiCombsSpeedRecord

Jessi Combs breaks women’s land speed record.

On October 8, WyoTech graduate and spokeswoman Jessi Combs broke the women’s land speed record by taking a jet-powered “car” up to 344 mph. The next day, she went even faster, making two runs that averaged 392 mph. The previous woman’s record had been 308 mph established back in 1965 by Lee Breedlove, wife of former world land speed record holder Craig Breedlove.

Combs’ record-breaking runs were done at the controls of a modified F-104 Lockheed Starfighter supersonic jet fighter from which engineers had removed the wings and added wheels. Dubbed the North American Eagle (NAE) Supersonic Speed Challenger, it’s considered a “car” because it has at least four wheels.

The North American Eagle is owned by Ed Shandle. He and Combs have said they plan to drive again in 2014 in hopes of shattering the 763 mph all-time land speed record set back in 1997 by British fighter pilot Andy Green at the controls of the jet-powered vehicle known as Thrust SSC.

Combs’ record-breaking run took place at a dry lakebed at the Alvord Desert in southeastern Oregon. The North American Eagle weighs 14,000 pounds and can deliver up to 5,000 pounds of thrust. Before its conversion, the vehicle had served as an aerial escort for the North American X-15 and the Lockheed SR-71 spy plane.

“That felt so unbelievably good,” said Combs when told of her new record. “I knew that one was really, really fast.”

Combs has been making special appearances at the WyoTech campuses in Blairsville, Pa, and Laramie, Wyo. In an article posted on Autoblog.com about her record setting run, Combs said this about her education at WyoTech: “Obviously, it’s taken me even further than I could have dreamed.”*

Combs is an automotive metal fabricator and currently co-hosts the cable TV shows All Girls Garage and The List: 1001 Car Things to Do Before You Die.

 

*Your own hard work, professionalism, experience, work attitude, local market and other factors will impact your personal employment opportunities and pay.

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