Waldo Stakes Sonic Wind rocket sled

On a recent visit to California, I met up with Waldo stakes, A long time land
speed racer and vehicle builder. Here is some information on his latest project.


Waldo with the rocket powered Sled, Sonic Wind


Rear side view of the sled, note the rocket engine hanging in the centre.

The main body of the sled is made from a auxiliary fuel tank from a jet fighter.
The sled has three skis, the two at the back are fixed and the one at the front can be turned
to steer the sled.

Here is the fuel system, it's a bit hard to see under all the wrapping. It mainly consists of three tanks
one is full of helium this is used to pressurize the fuel and oxidizer. The other tanks contain the oxidizer
(Liquid Oxygen or LOX) and the other tank contains the fuel (Aqueous Ethanol). the whole fuel system is
controlled by an array of valves and safety systems to keep everything running correctly.
All this is insulated from the driver by some ballistic padding.
 


Here are the covers that go over all the workings to reduce the drag on the sled.
 


Here is the power plant of the sled, it is one quarter of a LR-11 rocket engine designed by Thiokol.
Used on spacecraft: HL-10, M2-F2, M2-F3, X-1, X-15A, X-15A-2, X-1A, X-1B, X-1D, X-24A, X-24B
 


Sonic winds cock pit, there is not much room in here.
Note the electrical systems on the hatch, this is designed to come away from the sled in the event
of an accident to reduce the risk of starting a fire.
 


I don't think I would fit in this sled, saves me from breaking it then.....!
 

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