Shadle wrote to the Air Force to find out about the airframe’s history and was surprised to discover it had a very rich history. It had been used in the 1950s and 1960s for training and chase support for the X-15 rocket plane tests. The list of pilots who flew the airplane is a who’s who of the Antelope Valley’s aerospace heroes – a list that includes Chuck Yeager, Scott Crossfield, Pete Knight, and Joe Engle. Crossfield had told Shadle that he had made dozens of “dead-stick” landings – landing without engine power – to train for landing the X-15. The X-15 program set a record for the fastest manned flight when Knight hit a top speed of 4,520 mph in 1967. The public display at the airpark is being held in conjunction with planned tests of the car on El Mirage dry lake in San Bernardino County from June 6 to 8. The testing at El Mirage will be limited to speeds no higher than 400 mph. That is the limit of the speed the car’s tires can handle. Speed is also limited by the fact the test run strip is about 4.5 miles long and it will take a couple of miles for the car to slow and stop. Ideally, the team will have raised enough cash and tackled the technology hurdles in time to make a record attempt on July 4, 2007, Shadle said. [email protected] (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PALMDALE – An airplane that once took part in America’s fastest manned test flight is returning to the Antelope Valley for a brief visit – this time as a rocket car geared toward setting a land speed record. A former F-104 Starfighter jet that was flown at Edwards Air Force Base during its Golden Age of flight testing has been converted into a rocket car known as the North American Eagle. The goal for the North American Eagle team is to top more than 800 mph and in the process reclaim for the United States the land speed record. The current record of 763 mph was set in 1997 by Andy Green of the United Kingdom. The car and the team behind it will be at the Palmdale Plant 42 Heritage Airpark on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The airpark is located at 2001 E. Ave. P, between 20th Street East and 25th Street East on the north side of Avenue P. Admission to the airpark is free. “It’s a pretty neat deal,” Ed Shadle, the car’s driver and co-owner said of the event. “We’re going to go down there and have a fun day.” In pursuing the record, Shadle and car co-owner Keith Zanghi wanted a sleek aircraft frame from which to build the car. “I knew it was a very fast airplane – even fast by today’s standards,” Shadle said of the F-104. “It has an inlet design that’s perfect and it’s shaped like a pencil. It’s long and fast.” The team hunted around and found the airframe it could use in a scrap yard in Maine. Into it the team installed a rocket engine that can provide up to 50,000 horsepower.
Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun had previously taken to Weibo to confirm that the Mi Band 2 was delayed by a month. It was supposed to be launched on May 10 alongside the Mi Max and the MIUI 8, but production delays forced the company to postpone the launch to sometime in June. The Xiaomi CEO has now officially confirmed that the Mi Band 2 will launch in June.Lei Jun had briefly demonstrated the Mi Band 2 at its May 10 Mi Max launch event. He had shown off the upcoming fitness tracker’s touch screen functionality as also its well-to-do battery life. According to Lei Jun, the device still had 36% battery remaining even after 20 days of usage.The LED touch screen display (accompanied by a physical home button) and battery life are said to be the main highlight of the Mi Band 2. The first-generation Mi Band fitness tracker was lacking a display. The Mi Band 2 will also reportedly be water and dust resistant much like the Mi Band.Also Read: Xiaomi unveils 6.44-inch Mi Max phablet and colourful new MIUI 8At the same time, Xiaomi is also looking to launch its first wearable smartwatch some time in the second half of 2016.Xiaomi took the wrap off its long-rumoured Mi Max, a phablet that sports a gigantic 6.44-inch screen size on May 10 in Beijing. At the same time, the company also unveiled the next iteration of its MIUI operating system, aka the MIUI 8.Prices start at RMB 1,499 (roughly Rs 15,333) for the 3GB RAM and 32GB storage variant of the Mi Max with Snapdragon 650 and go all the way up to RMB 1,999 (roughly Rs 20,451) for the 4GB RAM and 128GB of memory variant with Snapdragon 652.advertisementAs for the MIUI 8, the China ROM will be available for beta registrations starting from May 16 while the first Developer ROM will be available starting June 17 onwards.