American Jet Cars
Stories & Comments
Dave Carlson

Hi Chip,

This is Dave Carlson from Akron Ohio and would like to provide some more insight on your dad and Walt Arfons.

This is in reply to John Hudson's question about the steam dragster. He was wanting to know about the accident and if the angle of the steam motor had anything to do with it. Simple answer - NO. Several different areas to consider. Thrust to weight, car was very light. Majority of the weight of the vehicle was the water in the tank. As the car moved forward the weight of the car was rapidly decreased. The front end was solid, no shocks, rear had the standard aircraft design, very firm. Really not designed for racing, or to be on a vehicle. The "response" time of the shock was very different than a automotive style.

Where we ran the test was on one of the runways of the Akron Airport. The surface was not as smooth as you would find on a dragstrip. The major problem was a bad cross wind. The day of the test was somewhat windy. As Bobby was making the run, the car got about half way down the runway when a cross wind blowing across the runway hit the car. This coupled along with rough surface, rapidly changing weight of the car, was the major cause of the accident. Angle of motor really didn't play a part in the accident.

Hope this is the answer he his looking for.

Once again thanks for this site. You are doing your father and the Arfons very proud.

Dave Carlson

 Dave & Bobby

Bobby and Dave Carlson

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