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SALT LAKE CITY — What do an olympic ski jumper, a luxury car and tiny jet packs have in common? Combined, they're working to break the Guinness World Record for fastest person on skis.
Luxury car company Jaguar recently announced a partnership with five time British Olympic ski jumper Graham Bell to set a new Guinness World Record for the fastest speed on skis.
Bell hopes to top speeds of 160 miles per hour. Working with Jaguar, he's designing a special harness and skis that he hopes will allow him to be towed behind a car at top speeds.
"I approached Jaguar to become my lead technical partner due to their experience in aerodynamics and love of all things involving speed," Bell said in a statement. "As lead technical partner in the attempt, Jaguar will provide the aerodynamic expertise to develop the Iron-Man-style suit I need, as well as helping me acclimatize to speed and external forces using high performance vehicles."
In order to set the actual record for faster person on skis, Bell must be skiing on his own, sans car power. To solve this problem, Bell is working with Jaguar engineers to design special mini-jetpacks that he said will be deployed after reaching a certain speed, allowing him to detach from the car and ski on his own.
"As engineering challenges go it doesn't get more unique than this, so the next few months are going to be very exciting," Jaguar thermal and aerodynamics manager Ian Anderton said.
While it sounds more like something from a super spy film than real life, Jaguar said it plans to test the jet-ski pack (with all the puns intended) later this year and hopes to be ready to conquer the record in the first part of 2017 at its cold weather testing facility in Sweden.
The current fastest skiing record was set by Simone Origone in 2014 during a downhill race and was clocked at 158 miles per hour.