Les Shockley Passes


Jet truck pioneer and 1996 Art Scholl Showmanship Award recipient Les Shockley passed away near his home in the Philippines on Saturday, April 6, from the effects of a stroke that he suffered several months ago. He was 75 years old.

After a successful quarter-century career in drag racing, in 1984, Shockley strapped three J-34 jet engines to a 7,000-pound Peterbilt semi and christened the beast, “Shockwave.” With 36,000 horsepower, the truck was capable of speeds in excess of 375 mph. He did not introduce the act to air show audiences until 1988 and it was an immediate hit, drawing huge crowds everywhere it went.

Shockwave has been operated by Neal and Chris Darnell on the air show circuit since 2012.

To watch a mid-1980’s Les Shockley performance with the original Shockwave Jet Truck, click here.

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The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) is a trade association dedicated to building and sustaining a vibrant air show industry to support its membership. To achieve this goal, ICAS demands its members operate their air show business at only the highest levels of safety, professionalism, and integrity.