Subject: THRUSTBRIEF 7: Black Rock Desert September13th 1997. Battle for Mach 1 on Land: By contrast with the previous day, the 13th demonstrated what record breaking is truly about-it is experimental racing and everyone has to be prepared...
Subject: THRUSTBRIEF 7: Black Rock Desert September13th 1997.
Battle for Mach 1 on Land:
By contrast with the previous day, the 13th demonstrated what record breaking is truly about-it is experimental racing and everyone has to be prepared for unexpected problems which can set back progress.
On the 13th for the first time the Design Team, (who create all the ThrustSSC run profiles) had asked Andy Green to drive to the Mach number instead of airspeed - an indicator of the projects rapid progress. Once the car is into the transonic speed range (Mach 0.85 onwards) speeds will be increased in small Mach No increments.
The two runs were targeted at Mach 0.82 and Mach 0.85- the latter being 650mph which would have taken ThrustSSC to the same max speed as was achieved by Thrust2 in 1983.
The run started well enough and ThrustSSC accelerated smoothly to 550mph. At this point the car's Computer 1 locked up resulting in the rear wheels alternately taking load. As soon as the Comp1 caption lit in the cockpit Andy Green aborted the run and brought the car to halt without damage.
The problem was subsequently found to be a mix of a software fault and internal power instability both of which are easily fixed. The team now plan to take two days for a full car inspection and a further two days to fit additional rear suspension spacers to provide a greater active suspension down thrust range.
Miraculously the Spirit of America team were able to recover their finances and are now back on site. ThrustSSC has now contracted with the United States Auto Club to provide the FIA timing for ThrustSSC at Black Rock- they arrive on Monday. A further v ariable has now emerged-a huge low pressure system has established off the Californian Coast and hurricane winds are forecast-which may or may not reach Black Rock on the 14th and 15th.
Please see latest news copy and photos on the ThrustSSC web site. Address is http://thrustssc.digital.co.uk