Jet Dragster


The Embry-Riddle Jet Dragster is the result of the combined efforts of students & professors of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the staff of Larsen Motorsports. The Embry-Riddle dragster is powered by a General Electric J/85. The chassis is made of chromoly and the body is made of aluminum and fiberglass. The car weighs 1350 lbs w/ fuel and driver. This fire breathing monster burns 2 gallons of a combination of Jet A and Bio Fuel per second under power and uses a total of 25 gallons per 1/4 mile pass. The students of Embry-Riddle assisted Larsen Motorsports in the design of the state of the art dragster. You can learn more about this and other exciting projects by going to the sponsors website

Length: 27 Ft.
Wheelbase: 264 in.
Ground Clearance: 31/2 in.
Width: 48 in.
Frame: Normalized 4130 chrome-moly steel, 250 lbs. bare weight
Body Covering: 040-in., 5052 Aluminum
Nose: Kevlar/Carbon Fiber Mix
Windshield: Lexan
Dry Weight: 1,145 lbs.
Engine Type: General Electric Model J-85, weighs 350 lbs., 2,500 HP
Afterburner: LMS custom design, built from 316L stainless steel, adds 2,500 HP
Thrust: 4,500 lbs.
Horsepower: 5,000 HP Combined
Warm-up Time: 15 seconds to 1 minute
Cool-down Time: 30-40 minutes
Tires & Wheels
Designated Design and Sizes
Front: Goodyear Top Fuel dragster design
Size: 22-in. tall x 4-in. wide
Rear: Custom built by Goodyear for land speed record racing, 28-in. tall x 10-in. wide, radial design with a Kevlar safety belt
Tread Design: Slick
Inflation Pressures:
Front: 30 lbs.
Rear: 30 lbs.
Construction of the tires has been tested at speeds up to 350 mph.
16,700 rpm
Fuel Consumption:
2 gallons Jet-A fuel per second, 25 gallons per pass including fireshow
1350 lbs. with driver
Brakes: Wilwood 4-wheel disc brakes
Parachutes: Two custom racing parachutes and one auxiliary chute
5.0 during launch
7.0 during parachute deployment
Dragster Speed:
0 - 100 in 1.3 seconds
0 - 290 in 5.5 seconds

Why A Dragster?

Why would Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University partner up with a Jet Dragster? You and several other people might be asking this question as you see the familiar Embry-Riddle name proudly displayed on a fire breathing jet dragster.

Larsen Motorsports first became a part of the Embry-Riddle family over 3 years ago. They partnered up with the Aviation Maintenance Science Division to help recruit students. Not long after, the jet dragster (Miss Ta Fire) caught the attention of several other departments within the university. They were asked if some of the students could do research projects in order to help with the aerodynamics of the already fast jet car

The entire LMS team is made up of aerospace professionals about half of which are Embry-Riddle alumni. Chris, owner of the jet team has over 2 decades of experience in the aerospace industry. The university saw the opportunity to use the jet dragster as the ultimate marketing tool. LMS travels throughout North America spreading the word about careers in aviation.

The jet dragster is also used as a living test bed for the students of ERAU. Students under the guidance of renound professor's accomplish research, design, development and testing. In addition to crew support in "real world" high performance environments. Larsen Motorsports in association Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is developing the next generation of jet dragster technology, moving current aerodynamics to the next level in professional jet car racing. Educational courses in high-speed vehicles offer exciting new challenges and opportunities for students and industry alike. At Embry-Riddle "there's more to our university than meets the sky."

In the fall of 2004, Chris Larsen, owner of the Miss Ta Fire Jet Dragster and George DeWees, Manager of Admissions and Marketing for the Aviation Maintenance Science Department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, recognized that an alliance between the two entities could be mutually advantageous. After presenting their partnership concept to the administrators and faculty of the University's College of Engineering, the project was launched. Professors, Magdy Attia, Ph.D. and Hany Nakhla, Ph.D. adopted the project as its advisors. Soon after, an information meeting was held in the Thermal Sciences Lab at the Lehman College of Engineering on the Daytona Beach, Florida campus. Interest was overwhelming. More than 40 students attended, but Dr. Attia and Dr. Nakhla had agreed to a maximum of 12 students. The advisors began the process of selecting top students by collecting resumes.

Over the University's winter break in 2004-2005, the team and its leaders, Adam Clark, Jeff Sikorski, and Victor Vega, were selected. The early meetings were dedicated to organizing and setting goals. Tasks were divided into three sections; front end, cockpit and rear end. Each leader assumed a task and selected three students for their task teams. During the next two months, the car was disassembled with every piece measured to create a computerized 3-D model using CATIA (Computer Aided Three-dimensional Interactive Application), the same program widely used by engineers like those at Boeing for the design of the 777 and 787 aircraft. Once the 3-D model was completed, the car was reassembled to race again.

The next phase in the project was to examine the vehicle's aerodynamics using STAR-CD, a Linux based computational fluid dynamics program that creates a virtual wind tunnel. A simulation of the vehicle's response in varied conditions provided the foundation for analysis. Problematic areas were identified and modifications were made to the 3-D model. Subsequent simulations were conducted to ascertain improved airflow. Final suggested modifications were provided to Chris Larsen. During the summer of 2005, Chris and his team began to build an entirely new jet dragster implementing the students' suggested modifications. This car would become the first Embry-Riddle Jet Dragster, sponsored by the University and driven by Elaine Larsen, one of only three women licensed to drive jet-powered dragsters.