Land speed record
Glenn Leasher is here because not all
attempts end happily, and not all
contenders are remembered as they
deserve to be for their courage and
commitment to their dreams.
GaIns MoMen TUM
as FIrs T Tes T nears
richard noble and his Bloodhound ssc
team are flatout getting ready to build
their 1,000mph contender in the second
half of 2012. The design (BeLo W) has
been frozen around a eurojet eJ200
turbofan and a Falcon hybrid rocket
that’s pumped hydrogen peroxide by a
Formula 1-spec cosworth V8 engine.
Front-wheel steering, forged aluminum
wheels and wishbone suspension nestle
within the very carefully derived
aerodynamics that guru ron ayers
believes will remain Mach independent.
The project has already overcome
many significant challenges. What was
thought to be the ideal synthesis of
design configurations turned out to
generate a deadly five tons of lift at the
rear end, until the design team led by
Mark chapman made a timely
breakthrough. Technical ingenuity also
solved problems such as designing
wheels capable of rotating at a staggering
10,300rpm without blowing apart, mating
three very different powerplants in a tight
bodyshell, whose outer skin will be heated
to 270 degrees F at maximum speed,
and creating the largest diameter hybrid
rocket ever made in the U.K..
a global search yielded little-known
12-mile long Hakskeen pan in south africa’s
northern cape as the perfect venue, and
it is already being hand-prepared by a
300-strong party of volunteers.
david Madison/Getty Images
The plan calls for build to be
completed by the end of 2012, and
testing to start on U.K. airfield runways
early in 2013, prior to the first tests on
the playa at Hakskeen pan in the
second quarter of the year.
the afterburner; tire failure because of
the torque reaction which Leasher had
reported the afterburner induced; or
perhaps under-inflation of the tires
leading to their failure.
There was a poignant postscript to the
story. according to reports, 26-year-old
Leasher had secretly married his girlfriend,
Lynn Bostic, in Burlingame, calif., and they
planned to announce their union officially
on the day he broke the record.
When craig Breedlove told richard noble
on the Black rock desert in 1992 that he
had acquired some new jet engines,
noble understood instinctively that his
old friend and rival planned to challenge
his Thrust2 record – and that it could
mean going supersonic. Momentously,
he immediately began to plan a project
aimed at the sound barrier.
Thus was born Thrustssc, the first car
designed with computational fluid
dynamics (cFd), which were validated by
scale model rocket tests to 800mph.
The remarkable machine, which
resembled a pair of binoculars being
ravaged by a rampant pencil, was powered
by two rolls-royce spey jet engines and
controlled by rear-wheel steering.
(aBoVe) The physical
aftermath of one of
breaking runs on
nevada’s Black rock
desert dry lakebed. For
an Lsr attempt to be
the wheels must stay
on the ground. In
this case, they did...