Doom Creator Helping Bring Rockets To Racing

Illustration for article titled Doom Creator Helping Bring Rockets To Racing

You may know John Carmack, co-founder of id Software and lead programmer of Doom, keeps busy building space rockets with his Armadillo Aerospace team. But rockets aren't all they do.

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They also do rocket planes.

The last you've probably heard of a rocket plane was a pair of German fighters from the Second World War, the Komet and Natter, that were both more of a danger to their pilots than the enemy.

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Not to be dissuaded by their ultimate failure (or, well, the success of Bell's X-1), Carmack and the team at Armadillo have been working on getting their rockets installed and working in light aircraft of a safer, more contemporary design.

Why would you need to put a rocket in an aircraft? Why, to race them in the Rocket Racing League, of course. Which is a real thing, one I am deeply saddened to be only learning about for the first time here.

The RRL is a start-up venture, new to 2010, and Armadillo will be supplying the rocket engines for the teams involved, using craft like the one in the clip above.

While the Rocket Racing league waits on the tarmac for the green light, you can get the league's official racing game (sadly not developed by Carmack's id) on iPhone and iPod Touch here.

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DISCUSSION

"The last you've probably heard of a rocket plane was the Me-163 Komet, a German fighter from the Second World War that did little else but sit a man on top of a giant rocket."

#corrections

No. That would have been the Bachem Ba 349 Natter.

You don't sit on top of a giant rocket (the engine actually is quite small) in a Me 163.

Also, fun fact: it was powered by some pretty dangerous stuff (hydrogen peroxide and something else; I forget what) that could burn your face off.