Snake Jump­ing the River Canyon

Evel Knievel’s fa­mous 1974 canyon jump at­tempt in a steam-pow­ered rocket didn’t go to plan, but he man­aged to es­cape with his life

How It Works - - TRANSPORT -

The Sky­cy­cle

Be­hind the en­closed cock­pit sits a ti­ta­nium re­in­forced fi­bre­glass and alu­minium con­tainer hold­ing 90kg of su­per­heated steam.

Ramp en­try

The Sky­cy­cle reaches a speed of 200kph when it hits the 90m-long ramp, a speed it main­tains for eight sec­onds af­ter launch un­til all the steam is used up.

Para­chute de­ployed

Al­most im­me­di­ately af­ter leav­ing the launch ramp, the land­ing para­chute de­ployed pre­ma­turely, caus­ing the rocket to corkscrew to the right.

Steam re­leased

Steam is re­leased through the main pro­pel­lant valve to power the Sky­cy­cle’s ac­cel­er­a­tion to a top speed of over 560kph when in the air.

Fall­ing Planned tra­jec­tory

In the planned stunt, the canopy was meant to blow once the Sky­cy­cle cleared the canyon, at which point two para­chutes – one at­tached to Knievel and one at­tached to the rocket – would open.

in­tended land­ing site

With the para­chutes open, Knievel and the Sky­cy­cle would have landed safely on the planned land­ing site.

cross­ing the canyon

While Knievel does make it across the canyon, the wind catches the chute and drags him back to­wards the gorge. With Knievel and the bike dan­gling down from the para­chute, the Sky­cy­cle sinks to the bot­tom of the canyon, hit­ting the rocks. Knievel es­capes alive.

“If you fall dur­ing your life, it doesn’t mat­ter. You’re never a fail­ure as long as you try to get up” – Evel Knievel (1938–2007)

The bravest of dare­dev­ils take their skills a step fur­ther by in­tro­duc­ing fire into their tricks

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.