Fastest woman on four wheels crowned after 440mph record run
North American Eagle
Lead-footed lady drivers have a new heroine today. The American TV presenter and daredevil Jessi Combs topped 440mph on a dry lakebed in Oregon’s Alvord Desert to become the fastest woman ever on four wheels.
Jessi drove the elaborately titled North American Eagle (NAE) Supersonic Speed Challenger to a top speed of 440.709mph. The return trip that’s required for all official land speed records saw the fearless driver record an average of 392.954mph. That’s fast in anyone’s book.
The North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger is an F-104 Lockheed Starfighter jet converted for use on the ground. It's basically a jet plane with the wings shorn off and the team behind it aren’t finished yet. They’re locked in a race with the British car Bloodhound SSC to claim the overall land speed record of 761mph, with both projects set to attempt the record in 2014.
Jessi herself plans to get back behind the wheel too. She aims to take the overall women’s land speed record of 512mph. This was set back in 1976 by Kitty O'Neil in a three-wheeled rocket car called SM1 Motivator. Good luck Jessi!
- Bloodhound SSC in landmark rocket test
- The greatest rocket-powered cars
- Official: the 1,000mph rocket car
- Spied: Bloodhound SSC
- On Bing: more pics of the Bloodhound SSC