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"Queen of Diamonds II" 300 MPH Jet Dragster Debuts in Style


June 19, 2013 - Enfield, CT - Al Hanna, President of Hanna Motorsports Jets, Enfield, CT, announces the debut of the much awaited "Queen of Diamonds II" 300 MPH Jet Dragster. The brand new and revolutionary semi-streamliner "Queen of Diamonds II" 300 MPH Jet Dragster was conceived more than 10 years ago, on a napkin in an Atlanta airport, by legend Al Hanna of nitro and jet fame. Since that fateful day, the concept was developed over and over again until the decision was made in the middle of the 2012 season to have the car built. The rest is now history.

The Hannas contracted Dan Page Race Cars of Hampstead, NH to build the car. Page has built many cars for the Hannas including the "Queen of Diamonds", the current World Speed and ET Record Holding "GOJO Firebird" Jet Funny Car driven by Rich Hanna, and the "XLERATOR Top Secret" Firebird, the highest tech jet funny car ever built, driven by veteran Ken Hall.

The new "Queen of Diamonds II" is the update/replacement for the "Queen of Diamonds" jet dragster, arguably the most successful jet dragster over the past two decades. Driver Jill Canuso is honored to be driving the new 6000 HP General Electric J-85-5 powered machine saying, "The handling is extraordinary. It is glued to the track from the starting line to the finish line. The car has a definitively different feel, but I have already found it to be exhilarating to drive. I love everything about this machine and enjoy driving it.” This is a 'never-been-seen-before' machine that looks like a 'spaceship' hurtling down the track from the stands and like a Formula One car with a 30 foot fire from the back. "Yes, it is different," says Rich Hanna, fuel system expert on the project.

The car itself is very unusual. It features an offset driver location, with the driver sitting off to the left of the engine position, under an aircraft canopy. On the right side, the fuel tank is located under a matching 'pod' to give the car an aerodynamic advantage. Thus, the car is a 'twin pod' design, with a matching nose to cut through the air at high speed. A 'tunnel' design feeds the ram air directly into the GE engine at speed. This is similar to an aircraft in terms of getting air to the powerful GE J-85-5 engine. "This is a necessity for this engine," said Hanna.

"We built the car to get more air to the jet engine," said Al Hanna. "Traditional jet dragsters have the driver sitting in front of the engine and, consequently, the engine is always straining more than it should and running hotter than it should, due primarily to the driver location. We feel this is a much better design, with far more potential."

The front wings are designed to keep the car stable at high speed and, based on the success of the prior "Queen of Diamonds", several updates were made to the new car including the stretching of the overall wheelbase to 270". "Again, every change was made to make the new car even better than the current car, and we believe we have achieved our goal," said Rich Hanna, a key contributor in the construction of the new machine.

Features include a total one piece, lift-off body made entirely of carbon fiber and the extensive use of titanium and carbon fiber throughout to keep the weight at a minimum. The car also has an 18 gallon fuel tank and burns kerosene.

Aerodynamic design of the machine was done by the Hannas in conjunction with Gary Eaker, of 'A2 Wind Tunnel' outside Charlotte (famous for aero work for NASCAR), and Larry Williams Graphics, Joliet, IL. The final paint and lettering was applied by Draggraphix of North Brookfield, MA. It is absolutely beautiful.

"We give great respect to Dan Page," says Al Hanna, "Dan said 'Give me the picture and I’ll give you the car'. Larry Williams put our concept onto paper and Dan gave us the picture in the form of a real race car. He is the best."

Hanna Motorsports Jets has sponsorship support for the 2013 season from BIC Lighter, GOJO Hand Cleaner and XLERATOR Hand Dryers. This project received support from BASF, Simpson Safety Products, Daigle Truck Master and the many team members of the Hanna Motorsports group, especially Ellen Hanna, Al’s wife of 49 years. "This is a dream come true for Al and our team and I give them 100% support," said Mrs. Hanna.

In testing, the first run to the 1000 foot mark produced a 5.46 @ 267 MPH with the chutes deployed. The first pass to the finish line produced a 5.43 @ 291 MPH. The Hanna Team is taking the progress of this machine on the track very cautiously and slowly. All the systems are on test mode. "As performance improves and the learning curve straightens out, we see a great future for this design and this machine," said Al Hanna, "We can’t wait to see this car run 300 MPH and beyond."