- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Late stuntman Evel Knievel suffered little more than a broken nose after he unsuccessfully attempted to cross Idaho’s Snake River Canyon in a steam-powered rocket in 1974. Now one of the daredevil’s biggest fans said he’ll recreate the failed stunt more than four decades later, hopefully landing this time on the other side of the abyss.

“Evel took off on one side of the canyon in 1974. I’m hoping his spirit lands on the other side of the canyon in 2016,” Hollywood stuntman Eddie Braun told The Associated Press this week.

Mr. Braun, 54, has performed stunts in television shows and movies dating back to 1980, including work on the original “Dukes of Hazzard” TV series as well as films including “Transformers” and “The Avengers.”

For his next major role, the stuntman plans on recreating one of his legendary idol’s most famous, albeit failed, exploits.

“On Sat. Sept. 17th I will attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon, Lord willing, in the ‘Evel Spirit.’ Details to follow,” Mr. Braun announced Monday through his Facebook page.

The “Evel Spirit,” Mr. Braun explains on a Kickstarter page, is a steam-powered rocket similar to the one his hero used 42 years earlier and built by the son of the late Navy engineer who designed the original X2 Skycycle used by Knievel during his failed 1974 attempt.

While a malfunctioning parachute ultimately caused the original jump to be unsuccessful, rocket-builder Scott Truax expects an improved parachute-deployment system will allow Mr. Braun to safely land after soaring across Snake River Canyon at over 400 miles per hour.

The stuntman has raised nearly $1.5 million since beginning to plan the project three years ago and has already secured permission and permits from landowners and federal agencies.

Mr. Braun is hoping to raise another $150,000 through a recently launched crowdfunding campaign, however, and is offering supporters the opportunity to “own a piece of history,” like a signed “Evel Spirit” blueprint and material from his parachute, in order to make the launch happen without a hitch.

“How many people get to fulfill the dreams of their hero? It’s kind of like touching Superman’s cape,” Mr. Braun told the AP.

If all goes as planned, Mr. Braun will be launched over the Snake River Canyon on Sept. 17 just a few miles from where Knievel conducted his failed stunt 42 years earlier.

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