By Bill Hudson


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Kurt Anderson will strap himself into a rocket-powered dragster in only a few short weeks, and set off on a very quick run down an ice-covered Wisconsin lake.

“I want to break the current world record of 247 miles an hour on ice,” Anderson said.

He has had a mind for mechanics, and a need for speed, since he was a kid.

“I’ve always been a mechanical person, so growing up, you know, I had mini bikes and raced dirt bikes,” Anderson said.

In 2007, he turned his attention to top fuel dragsters. Now in a shop that once made Tonka Toys, are scattered race cars and rockets. Among them, what he has named the “Artic Arrow.” It’s a dragster-designed sled that Anderson and his team of “Rocketboys” hopes will break a 1981 world speed record on ice.

Streaking past the 247.93-miles-per-hour mark will also give Anderson the maximum G-force of a fighter pilot.

“I’ve got counter measures that I do so I don’t black out,” he said.

Kurt Anderson (credit: CBS)

He and his team will attempt the record at the Snodeo snowmobile rally in Manawa, Wisconsin. Anderson plans to excite the crowd with a record-smashing run on Sunday, Feb. 16 — hitting somewhere between 250 and 300 miles per hour in a matter of just a few seconds.

Chained to his shop floor, the sled and its rocket propulsion system was tested recently. Instead of burning fuel, it uses 18 gallons of hydrogen peroxide. The liquid fuel goes through a chemical process in which it decomposes and changes into a high-pressure steam.

“It’s a process called decomposition, and it literally turns into steam,” he said.

In 2017, Anderson’s attempt at the record fell short over in Sweden when he had a malfunction of the steering wheel and the sled crashed. Anderson was not seriously injured in the run that hit a maximum speed of 206 mph.

His Rocketboys team has since fixed any design flaws and also perfected a better braking system to use in addition to the dual parachutes — improvements which give Anderson the confidence to try it once again.

“I love racing,” Anderson said. “I love … trying to accomplish something, and so I’m excited about it.”

And quite possibly, become the fastest thing on ice.

Bill Hudson

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