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Author Topic: Last American team to hold the official ALSR Blue Flame Oct 23 1970 622.407mph  (Read 78373 times)
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N72727
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« Reply #60 on: June 04, 2010, 10:29:07 AM »

Another photo with Gary Gabelich.


* GaryGabelich=.jpg (186.03 KB, 1051x1511 - viewed 396 times.)
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F104A
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« Reply #61 on: June 06, 2010, 01:41:01 AM »

Sometimes, sponsors will want a mockup of a race vehicle built just for shows. John Force has about 16 funny cars that travel all over the place for shows and they will never run the 1/4 mile. We don't have a sponsor that wants
to build a second car for us but one of them put up over $1000 to have a 9' long model built for a couple shows. After they did the business shows, they gave it to me to use where ever I want to put a model of the NAE on display without going through the trouble of hauling the entire car.
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« Reply #62 on: July 14, 2010, 07:50:54 AM »

Blue Flame Gary Gabelich
 
Bonneville Run video (Vintage VW Comercial)


Hi, wink does anybody know if there is any more video footage of blue flame other than purchasable items I have several you tube clips on my site but could not find any of the Blue Flame?  rolleyes  cheers

Thanks

Paul
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MAYOMAN
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« Reply #63 on: October 30, 2010, 07:26:22 PM »

Regarding N72727's comment on The Blue Flame he saw as a youngster, it was a fiberglass mock-up made for the French natural gas company. I am not certain of the timing, but it may have been exhibited in France while The Blue Flame was still on its US tour.  It later was toured in Europe.

Efforts were made by the Institute of Gas Technology to display the car in a US museum, but was turned down. Pathetic, since Breedlove's Spirit of America is in the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry and The Blue Flame's roots were in Chicago, and it was built in Milwaukee.

The car was purchased for a song ($10,000) for a private collector, then later acquired by the museum in Sinsheim. Because it was the first to exceed 1,000 kilometers per hour, it was a bigger sensation in Europe than in the USA.
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N72727
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« Reply #64 on: November 01, 2010, 11:58:05 AM »

Thank you for your comments MAYOMAN. When I took the photo of the fiberglass mock-up in 1971, they gave this jigsaw puzzle to the visitors.


* Puzzle - copie.jpg (340.34 KB, 1024x762 - viewed 361 times.)
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N72727
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« Reply #65 on: November 01, 2010, 12:01:46 PM »

Another photo (poor quality undecided) from a magazine. Gary in the cockpit.


* Gary-cockpit.jpg (124.62 KB, 784x515 - viewed 372 times.)
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Fabrizio T.
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« Reply #66 on: January 28, 2011, 08:04:36 PM »

Hi from Italy,looking for photo's of Gary Gabelich 4 wheel drive funny car at Orange County pre-accident,thanks,Fabrizio.
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N72727
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« Reply #67 on: February 22, 2011, 02:17:33 AM »

Very interesting story about The Blue Flame in the January 2011 issue of OCTANE Magazine.
http://www.classicandperformancecar.com/features/octane_features/262615/the_blue_flame_record_car.html
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TD
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« Reply #68 on: March 01, 2011, 11:23:09 AM »

Thanks for posting that link, I enjoyed the story and the photos.
Tim
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velocity
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« Reply #69 on: March 20, 2011, 02:08:16 AM »

Dick Keller is NOT the designer of the BLUE FLAME Rocket car. That honor belongs to Dr. Paul Torda, Dr. Uzgaris and a small gang of doctoral students at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago. The wind tunnel testing which validated the TBF supersonic capability was conducted at the now defunct Ohio State University using a brass scale model that is still in existence and in the safe keeping of the builder, Pete Farnsworth. Keller was the PR and sponsor guy who also happened to be a talented draftsman and occasionally drew up a part or two but make no mistake, he is not to be credited with the design of the car.

I have copies of ALL the Doctoral Thesis that earned the students their respective PhD's and count Paul Torda and his wife among my friends while still living in Chicago. Ray Dausman gets the credit for designing and building the throttlable rocket engines.

Dausman first drew, and then hand-built the first rocket engine. It was tiny, 25lb of thrust I believe, later given to IIT for educational purposes after he and Keller tested the thing in a Blue island, Illinois back alley using a pair of bathroom scales to measure the thrust output. That test validated Dausman's design theory and Reaction Dynamics was formed (Farnsworth, Dausman and Keller) and built the X-1 rocket dragster which validated the concept so the Blue Flame project could be sold to sponsors thereby raising money to construct the car Gary drove to glory.

As for why the car is now in Germany, it was all politics and sponsor ignorance that saw the car sold to a Dutchman, a Shell Oil Exec that somehow cowed the gas guys to sell him the World Record car for a lousy $10,000. and made the Americans pay for the shipping overseas. Gabelich tried repeatedly to borrow the car back, but Dutchman gave it to the museum and told Gary that as long as he was alive the car would never again come to the USA. Pissed Gary right off. This led to him and his pal drawing up the car that is sometimes confused with TBF but was never built. 

This information was relayed to me by Farnsworth, Dausman and Rae Gabelich with mountains of documentation, photos and films. Further data was provided directly from IIT. After reading this thread and realizing too many facts were fiddled with, it was time to set the record straight. If for no other reason than retain proper honor for Gary, Paul, and other dedicated Blue Flame crew no longer with us.

-- LandSpeed Louise
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MAYOMAN
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« Reply #70 on: March 26, 2011, 09:14:05 AM »

Louise,
I don’t understand why you suddenly, out of the blue, decided to attack me here. First, you were never involved in the WLSR project. You really knew nothing about the WLSR until I contacted you in 2008 about partnering my book project. Second, I don’t recall ever claiming to be THE designer of The Blue Flame World Land Speed Record (WLSR) vehicle.

Reaction Dynamics, Inc was the designer and builder of the car. It says so right on the side of the car. Have you ever even seen the car? Ray, Pete, and I were Reaction Dynamics, Inc. What does that make me?

Rae Gabelich was never involved in the WLSR project and only met Gary several years after the WLSR, so she knows nothing, and has nothing to contribute to the conversation. Even so, Gary was the hired driver (actually our third choice) and had little knowledge himself of the total project beyond his brave and skillful driving on the salt flats.

Ray Dausman worked with me at the very beginning of the WLSR journey, but he bailed out of the project a year before we set the WLSR, and before we were done building the car. So, he never even saw the car completed, tested, or raced on the salt flats.

Pete Farnsworth joined our project at phase two, building the dragster prototype. So he wasn’t there at the beginning conceptual stage and rocket design and testing, but he did fantastic work on managing the WLSR fabrication and construction. He also was a key member of the Reaction Dynamics WLSR team on the salt flats.

PR guy and sponsor guy? Maybe, but certainly much more.

Researched rocket design options and worked out the 25 pound thrust hydrogen peroxide rocket design and performance calculations with Ray.
Drew the working drawings for building the 25 pound thrust rocket.
Machined the stainless steel parts for the 25 pound thrust rocket.
Ray and I developed the Samarium Oxide coating process for the silver catalyst and assembled the 25 pound thrust rocket motor.
Ray and I built the rocket motor test stand.
We tested it behind my friend’s home in Blue Island, Ray Muller.
Ray Muller was part of the (former Tucson) Speed Sport drag race group (with Joe Bush and Don Maynard), building several dragsters. He originally was to be our prototype rocket dragster builder, before I later asked Pete to join us.
My bathroom scale and my 16mm camera provided the test instrumentation and recording.
I brought Pete on board later, showing my rocket test films and ideas for the rocket dragster.
Ray and I designed the 2500 pound thrust dragster rocket together.
I drew the working drawings for building the 2500 pound thrust dragster rocket.
I machined some of the stainless steel parts for the rocket and arranged for machining and welding the larger parts at IIT Research Institute – as well as the spun stainless nozzle.
Ray and I applied the Samarium Oxide coating on the silver catalyst and assembled the rocket.
I designed the rocket dragster chassis which Pete built. We collaborated on the design details, Pete doing almost all the fabrication.
I test drove the rocket dragster (without parachutes) and then got Chuck Suba on board as our race driver. I was the sole (slow) test driver – static and dynamic, for the rocket dragster over the three years. Chuck drove it fast.
I traveled with Chuck to every dragstrip appearance, filmed the car running, packed parachutes, refueled, etc.
Using my films of the test motor and the dragster, I promoted the sponsorship of the WLSR.
A researcher at the Institute of Gas Technology, I wrote the WLSR proposals and convinced the natural gas industry to get on board, appearing at several AGA and gas company meetings around the country. $ponsor$hip is money. That’s where I got it.
I convinced Drs. Andrew Fejer and Paul Torda at IIT’s Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department to support our WLSR design program – also recruiting Dr. Uzgiris and his several engineering master’s degree candidates to assist in the WLSR design.
Reaction Dynamics and IIT worked as a team, collaborating on the design throughout the construction of the vehicle. I also have a list of at least 50 persons who assisted or worked on the car with us in various roles. It was a big, complicated project – scratch-built in our shop.
I also convinced associate sponsors to provide their products, essential in building the car.
After Ray left Reaction Dynamics in 1969, I finished the rocket system construction, testing, and operation on the salt flats.
I also designed and built the vehicle trailer and the rocket system support trailers to refuel and pressurize the car on the salt flats, in parallel with The Blue Flame’s construction.

So, let’s recap – without Dick Keller there would be:
no 25 pound thrust hydrogen peroxide rocket motor,
no hydrogen peroxide rocket dragster,
no natural gas industry $ponsor$hip,
no IIT Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering support,
no WLSR!

Before Reaction Dynamics, I was an Experimental Engineer at IIT Research Institute, working on projects including a propellant monitoring system for fuelling the NASA Saturn I and Saturn V boosters for the Apollo program, and a military space satellite defense system for the DOD. Later, I was Chief Technologist at the Institute of Gas Technology researching the gas reaction kinetics of methane (natural gas combustion).

Following the WLSR, I was the Engineering Manager, Director, and Vice President at four multi-national companies. Oh yes, and I was a “talented draftsman” as well. Doing business as  Keller Design Corporation, I designed and built numerous rocket powered dragsters and funny cars for Lew Arrington, Sammy Miller, and others.

It’s obvious we have a different perspective on the truth here. I suggest, if you want, to continue the discussion off-line and not further bore these folks on the Landracing Forum.
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Gwillard
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« Reply #71 on: March 26, 2011, 10:19:34 AM »

In response to:

 "The wind tunnel testing which validated the TBF supersonic capability was conducted at the now defunct Ohio State University using a brass scale model that is still in existence and in the safe keeping of the builder, Pete Farnsworth."

I can assure you that the reports of The Ohio State University being defunct are greatly exagerated. They are alive, well, and 50,000+ students strong.
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MAYOMAN
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« Reply #72 on: August 06, 2012, 01:55:56 PM »

Gwillard - The whole story of The Blue Flame world land speed record is summed up in my home movie on Youtube. There are some good secenes at the Ohio State University transonic wind tunnel where we tested using our brass model. Dr. Paul Torda and Tom Morel are shown in the tunnel lab scene.
After proving the rocket concept with our X-1 rocket dragster, the American Gas Association (AGA) signed on for the land speed record project.
Chuck Suba drove the X-1 and was to be the driver for The Blue Flame. Unfortunately, Chuck died in a fuel dragster accident one month after we got the sponsorship commitment at the Oklahoma City “World Jet Nationals” in 1968.
Since there was no sound track on my 16mm camera, there is only a musical background. Sorry about that. It was the 1960s!
Go to

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MAYOMAN
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« Reply #73 on: August 16, 2012, 02:15:28 PM »

The "official" film of The Blue Flame world land speed record is now on YouTube.



It took me a while to get the copyright approval from the American Gas Association, but here it is.

Remember, though, that the world land speed record set by The Blue Flame was for the kilometer, not the mile, at 630.388 miles per hour - or 1,014.656 kilometers per our.

That record stood until 1997 since FIA requires a new record to exceed the existing record by more than 1%. Thrust 2 only did 633 miles per hour in the mile, not enough to get the kilo.
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« Reply #74 on: July 07, 2013, 12:28:41 PM »

Louise,
I don’t understand why you suddenly, out of the blue, decided to attack me here.

If this is Dick Keller posting this comment, my reply:

This is not an attack. My posting was a statement of facts backed by documentation that will hold up in any court of law, or fact checking editorial department. The documentation is form Ray Dausman, Pete Farnsworth, Rae Gabelich and assorted other Blue Flame team members.

I/we challenge a number of your posted facts as incomplete, or erroneous. I only interest is the integrity of the historical record to reflect the correct contributions of all concerns and pump up the contribution of one person.

I withdrew from your book project because you were unwilling to share publishing credit with Farnsworth and Dausman. Both of these men have since contacted me individually to pursue a historical recounting of the The Blue Flame project. Work is underway.

Further, Sarah Kasprowicz, Dausman's daughter, has just published "The Reluctant Rocketman" available on Amazon. A great number of the points I posted are contained within her book that is a personal memoir of her father's life with emphasis on the Blue Flame rocket engine design.
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