LSR ThrustSSC Report 97-10-15

Battle for Mach 1 on Land: On this day the ThrustSSC team achieved the first ever supersonic World Land Speed Record -officially timed by USAC under FIA sanction. The record is subject to FIA confirmation in Paris. Taking advantage of...

Battle for Mach 1 on Land:

On this day the ThrustSSC team achieved the first ever supersonic World Land Speed Record -officially timed by USAC under FIA sanction. The record is subject to FIA confirmation in Paris.

Taking advantage of the cold but windless morning and a 13.5 mile run up Andy Green entered the measured mile going North at 09:09:21.698 and achieved a supersonic pass over the mile at 759.333mph with a Mach=20 no of 1.015. The turnaround was achieved within the mandatory 60= =20 minutes and ThrustSSC entered the mile going South at 10:04:08:090= =20 achieving a return speed of 763.035mph and a Mach no of 1.020.

On each of the two runs clear supersonic booms were heard all over th= e=20 playa and shook buildings in Gerlach 15 miles away

This is the first ever authoritatively timed supersonic World Land Sp= eed=20 Record and adds to the Teams list of achievements which includes a= =20 World Land Speed Record at 714.144 mph on September 25th- and the= =20 first ever authoritatively timed supersonic pass at Mach 1.007 on Oct= ober=20 13th.

Andy Green and the ThrustSSC have reached or exceeded Mach 1 on four= =20 occasions with an additional two passes at Mach 0.996 and Mach 0.98.

It's been a long hard struggle for all of us since I first read about= this=20 project in the papers 3 years ago as a crazy advert for a supersonic = car=20 driver. We all knew that we could create the world's first supersoni= c land=20 speed record, but knowing something can be done and going out and= =20 doing it are very different - and today we did it! We have created a = world=20 first, a record that will stand for all time, as a tribute to British= =20 engineering, the dedication and hard work of a small group and the= =20 support of a great many others. In particular I am grateful to the R= oyal=20 Air Force for allowing me and the other RAF members of the team the= =20 chance to take part in this remarkable adventure. As a holiday job, = there's=20 nothing else like it in the world! =20

The ThrustSSC programme has now been satisfactorily completed in 66= =20 runs, which includes the early trials at Farnborough and Jordan in 19= 96=20 and the further Jordan2 programme in May/June this year. 231=20 companies took part in the project which was financed principally by= =20 sponsors Castrol and BTR and the projects own 5,000 person Mach 1= =20 supporters club. The project suffered daunting financial problems du= ring=20 its 6 year existence and still carries a high level of debt which has= to be=20 paid off before the programme is concluded.

A key element in the success of the project, was the team's decision = to=20 thoroughly research the twin engine rear wheel steer design, which wa= s=20 criticised for its size complexity and flat underside. Aerodynamici= st Ron=20 Ayers two years research programme was fully vindicated and=20 Mechanical Designer Glynne Bowshers work provided the spaceframe=20 construction and the 8,500rpm wheels and brakes. The project depende= d=20 crucially on its Systems Designer Jeremy Bliss who created a 120 chan= nel=20 data system with twin computers and active ride- the latter proving= =20 essential for varying the ThrustSSC incidence with Mach No. The car= =20 would not have gone supersonic with a fixed suspension.

The engineering team was managed by Nick Dove who ran the workshop= =20 often under very difficult desert conditions. Huge efforts were put i= n by=20 the electronics team and there were very few engine problems due to t= he=20 diligence of the engine team under Chris Cowell.

The operation of the team on the desert was established by Martyn= =20 Davidson and later Adam Northcote-Wright- both of whom brought a=20 high level of expertise to the management and co-ordination of a high= ly=20 complex desert operation. Jayne Millington's communication skills we= re=20 key to the success as she juggled up to 5 frequencies simultaneously = and=20 the essential desert security operation was run by Paul Remfry.

Key to the marketing of the project was the internet web site run by= =20 Jeremy Davey which reached a peak of 2.5 million hits or accesses/day= .=20 The 1000 page Digital site has reached nearly 40 million hits accesse= d=20 =66rom every country on the internet proving once and for all time th= e huge=20 popularity of the World Land Speed Record.=20

The sponsorship programme failed to deliver adequate funding for the= =20 programme which cost less than =A35million over 6 years. The deficit = was=20 made up with loans from sponsors, trading with the projects 5,000 per= son=20 Mach 1 Supporters Club and purchases of fuel and donations from the= =20 huge internet following.=20

Project Director Richard Noble stated: 'For the first time in 6 very = long=20 years I can sleep easy and take the family on a holiday. The project= has=20 achieved every objective we set, other than full funding and it has b= een an=20 enormous thrill to work with such a dedicated hardworking and talente= d=20 team. The project disbands at the end of October- and we all have to= find=20 other work and careers. Our immediate objective is now to get the de= bts=20 paid and everyone into work again. I can't speak highly enough of th= e=20 tremendous skill level and responsibility of the Design and Engineeri= ng=20 teams- and Andy Green's total dedication to the driving achieved a tr= uly=20 outstanding result with a difficult and at times marginally stable ca= r.

We have a World First and the best land speed record of all time.'

The ThrustSSC team is due to return to UK on the 25th October.


October 15th Results.

North Run =20

=09Mile =09=09=094.741 secs=09=09=09759.333mph =09Kilo=09=09=092.956 secs=09=09=09756.742mph =09Distance=09=09=09=09=09=09763.623mph =09Mach (mile)=09=091.015 prov=09=09=09

South Run

=09Mile=09=09=094.696 secs=09=09=09766.609mph =09Kilo=09=09=092.929secs=09=09=09763.718mph =09Distance=09=09=09=09=09=09771.402mph =09Mach (mile)=09=091.020

New World Records subject to FIA confirmation:

=09Mile=09=09=09763.035mph =09Kilo=09=09=09760.343mph =09First ever Supersonic World Land Speed Record.

=09=09 : Info line on (44) 0839-888-850


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Series General
Drivers Richard Noble , Andy Green