June 14-16, 2024

RickenBacker International Airport Columbus, Ohio

Smoke-N-Thunder Jet Car


Topping out at speeds approaching 400 mph, the Smoke-n-Thunder Jet Car makes quite an entrance at an air show. Driver Bill Braack sits bravely in front of a Westinghouse J34-48 jet engine that was originally used in the North American Buckeye T-2A aircraft. With 10,000 pounds of thrust at his disposal, Braack will take the vehicle from zero to 300 mph in less than six seconds and regularly races propeller and jet driven aircraft. The Smoke-n-Thunder also will envelope itself in smoke and shoot flames of 50' as the engine roars to the delight of millions of fans across North America each year.

Bill Braack is constantly analyzing procedures and equipment, comparing the current to innovations. This habit served him well as a flight engineer in the Air Force Reserve, from which he recently retired after 20 years of service. He was also named Outstanding Airman of the Year for the Air Force Reserve Command. That was his part-time job; his full-time job was in healthcare marketing. He holds FAA ratings as a flight engineer and civilian pilot. Not only does Bill Braack drive the Air Force Reserve Jet Car, he also drives the nearly eighty-foot long tractor trailer that carries the car and its support vehicle from air show to air show. Bill and his wife and four children live in Castle Rock, Washington.


Westinghouse J34-48. Originally used in the North
American Buckeye T-2A aircraft.


6,000 pounds with afterburner

4130 Chrome-moly construction, 240-inch wheelbase

Wheels 15-inch diameter, 5-inches wide

Wheels 15-inch diameter, 10-inches wide

Aluminum and magnesium

Custom-built single seat designed and built to fit the driver

2,300 pounds

26 feet

Two 20-gallon fuel cells; 40 gallons of diesel fuel used
each performance

Acceleration Speeds
Approaching 400 mph

Safety Equipment
Two ring-slot parachutes (one 14 1/2 ft. and one 16 ft.); one on-board fire extinguisher system

Truck and Trailer
A 80-foot truck and trailer transports the JetCar and are part of the display. Additionally, the truck is equipped with a power unit that is used to start the JetCar.

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