Neosho residents might have heard a huge shockwave Wednesday, don't worry; it was the famous SHOCKWAVE Jet Truck doing a test run at noon at the Neosho Airport.
The Neosho Daily News caught up with the father and son team, Neal and Chris Darnell, respectively, and asked them a few questions about their training.
I understand that you purchased the famous SHOCKWAVE from Les Shockley. Tell me about the famous truck.
Chris: We both drive it. We have three jet trucks, and this is a triple engine Peterbilt semi called 'SHOCKWAVE.' It is very well known around this area. We bought it from Les, we gave it a whole new look for this year. We are campaigning it on the 2013 air show circuit and doing some drag racing with it this year.
How did you personally get interested in this type of attraction?
Chris: We have two single engine jet trucks, and the first one we have, this is the 11th air show season with it. We have been competing with the SHOCKWAVE truck for years and we have known Les and been friends with him for years. And the opportunity came up to buy the thing. We put a deal together and made it happen.
So, how fast does it go?
Chris: It holds the Guinness Book of World Records for 376 mph.
How fun is it to actually drive in this and going more than 350 mph?
Chris: It is pretty wild, very intense. At 36,000 horsepower, it is very intimidating.
Did you have to do any special type of training for this?
Chris: That is what we are out here doing this week. We bought the truck back in October and I have been working on it all winter long. Just now, with the weather breaking and spring arriving, we are getting out and doing our training. We have obviously been licensed and everything in jets before, since we have been doing it for 10 years, but this truck being much bigger and having three engines. There is some stuff that is a lot different, so we are doing our training on it here and getting ready for the new season.
Why did you pick the Neosho Airport to do the test today?
Chris: They are just very welcoming and good for the air show community with Kyle Franklin, we are friends with him. They welcomed us with open arms, opened up the airport for us and let us do what we need to do to make sure that 2013 is a safe season.
I remember a few years ago I was at the Joplin Air show and saw Les Shockley and Kyle and his late father, Jimmy Franklin, performing a stunt together.
Page 2 of 2 - Chris: Yes, they were involved in an air show act, with the SHOCKWAVE truck. And it was this one mainly that they used in the old form, it has been rebuilt since those days but this is the truck that is part of that act.
Where is the closest place that someone can come and see you drive SHOCKWAVE?
Chris: we are going to be performing at MOKAN Dragway Memorial Day weekend. Come out and check it out.
For more information on SHOCKWAVE, see the website www.flashfirejettruck.com