A Question On The Turbo Boost System

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Whitestar
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A Question On The Turbo Boost System

Post by Whitestar » Fri Apr 08, 2005 11:20 pm

Hi everyone! :)


It's my first time posting and I'm delighted to be chatting with other fellow Knight Rider fans like myself. I remember watching the show when it first came on in 1982 and after the premiere aired I was hooked. During that time, I always wished I could meet KITT and talk with him a bit. In 1987, my wish came true when I visited him at Universal Studios in California. I asked him what was his top speed and he told me that he can go up to 300 mph. It was a cool moment, indeed. Although the voice sounded like William Daniels, it was not really him, but some guy hiding somewhere in the theme park with a microphone/walkie-talkie.


Anyway, one of the coolest features of KITT was the turbo boost system. I discovered a website that featured an article on how it worked. First of all, there were several KITTs built, some of them were made as stunt cars. These stunt cars were aided with a couple of ramps that were camouflaged. The receiving end ramp was there to ensure minimal damage to the car because if it weren't for that, the stunt car's front fender would have been badly damage from the impact once it hit the ground. Let's face it: cars are not really made for such stunts, only for vehicles that have high suspension with thick tires such as: pickup trucks, dune buggies, and 4x4s.


However, in one episode of season three, there is a scene where Michael and KITT were chasing a jeep equipped with a flamethrower, and they managed to disabled it by turbo boosting over it and shattering it to pieces. The moment KITT landed on all fours the front fender didn't even scratched the ground. I had to freeze frame it shot by shot to get a closer look and sure enough there was no damage, at least there was none from an external viewpoint. My question is, how were the special effects team able to pull that off that turbo boost jump without the aid of ramps, and with no front fender bender damage? With hydraulics perhaps?


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Post by cloudkitt » Fri Apr 08, 2005 11:58 pm

Well, they did have 1 or two "Jump" Cars which were greatly reinforced. And if it landed on all fours it just mean they had a good ramp height and counterweight in the Trans Am's trunk. USually in scenes like that though you can see the cars frame shudder from the force of the landing. (The jump in the mud from "Nobody Does it Better" comes to mind)

(And sorry to be so off topic, but Whitestar, I knew a whitestar from a guy in a Bridge Commander clan [FC] (Federation Command). I'm just curious if this is the same guy. If you are, this is SapphireWeapon from that clan.)

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Post by Whitestar » Sat Apr 09, 2005 12:20 am

cloudkitt wrote:(And sorry to be so off topic, but Whitestar, I knew a whitestar from a guy in a Bridge Commander clan [FC] (Federation Command). I'm just curious if this is the same guy. If you are, this is SapphireWeapon from that clan.)




Sorry, no I'm not the same guy from that clan, but it's a pleasure to meet you anyway! :)


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Post by Miked » Sat Apr 09, 2005 8:54 am

As for the jumping:

I'm not sure what episode you refer to. Any more details?

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The jumping was done with real flying cars in the first season, and then later they used miniature cars & trucks for much of the stunts. In later shows they still did live-action stunts sometimes, as well as combinations of live-action shots and model shots to "build" a whole stunt in the editing process.
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The really big (live) jumps were done with Trans Ams. They were basically given rollcage tubing around the passenger area of the car, heavy trunk weight, and a jump harness for the driver. One jump, one destroyed car.
On jumps this size, there's little reason to reinforce the car other than for rollover protection. The landing will destroy even a reinforced car, and the stiffer car frame actually makes the landing rougher than a stock car's frame does on a huge jump because it doesn't bend at all.

The smaller jumps were done with reinforced Trans Ams (rollcage tubing added all throughout the car's frame, like a NASCAR). These cars were built & used with an eye towards saving the car for future use, unlike the really huge jumpers.
The jumps were done with various hidden takeoff & landing ramps. The takeoff ramps were pressurized sometimes to get a little more "boost" from small ramps.

In the first season, they also briefly experimented with a Dune buggy (Beetle-based chassis) wearing a fiberglass shell of a Trans Am on top. It didn't look or work very well, and they quit using it after a few shows.

.

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Post by Whitestar » Sat Apr 09, 2005 10:44 am

Miked wrote:As for the jumping:

I'm not sure what episode you refer to. Any more details?



Actually, I just found the name of the episode. It's called Circus Knight. Hope this helps.


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