Oldies and Oddities: The Bonneville Jet Wars

A California hot-rodder took on the feuding Arfons brothers in the 1960s.

Craig Breedlove’s Spirit of America Sonic 1 employed the transonic area rule via its high-waisted fuselage. Area ruling, which reduces drag at transonic speeds, enabled the early 1960s Convair F-102 to reach Mach 1.2. (Courtesy Franklin Ratliff)
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Cars have gone faster: In 1997, a British team broke the sound barrier with a speed of 763 mph, powered by two Rolls-Royce Spey turbofans, which powered  F-4M Phantom IIs. But land-speed racing has never been hotter than when cold war turbines were the coolest things at Bonneville.

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