Black Rock Desert October 3rd 1997. Battle for Mach 1 on Land After losing two operational days to high winds and sandstorms, the improved weather forecast for today promised far better run conditions. During the down period changes had been...
Black Rock Desert October 3rd 1997.
Battle for Mach 1 on Land
After losing two operational days to high winds and sandstorms, the improved weather forecast for today promised far better run conditions. During the down period changes had been made to ThrustSSC to improve the stability above Mach 0.9. These include the raising of the tail by two inches and the resetting of the tailplane to a trim of 1.5degrees above zero.
Run 55 had a target speed of Mach 0.95 but was aborted by driver Andy Green at 560mph when the usual directional wander experienced between Mach 0.8 and Mach 0.85 had become exaggerated due to the small changes.
Before run 56 was attempted, the tailplane was reset to zero incidence - the setting used successfully for run 54. The directional stability significantly improved but at Mach 0.85 the wander was still worse than last week's high-speed runs and the run was again aborted.
It is quite clear that the car needs careful adjustment to optimise the stability between the subsonic (below Mach 0.85) and the transonic range.
The team now needs to make a number of runs in this speed range over the next few days to optimise the trim for faster transonic performance before supersonic speeds can be attempted.
Further operational pressure comes from the current short age of funding, and the good but possibly short term weather before the unpredictable onset of the autumn rains.
Said Project Director Richard Noble: "This is probably the last major problem we have to overcome before we go supersonic."
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