THE QUEST FOR 1,000MPH
1,000mph, or 1,540ft/s, and that is what
Andy Green will attempt to do by 2018 in a
vehicle dubbed Bloodhound SSC.
Driver Green, an RAF fighter pilot, is the
current absolute land speed record holder
– a title earned in 1997 at the Black Rock
Desert in Nevada, when he took the twin
jet-engined Thrust SSC to 763.035mph,
breaking the sound barrier in the process.
That was the first, and to date the only time
the sound barrier has been broken on land.
Bloodhound SSC project leader Noble
is himself a former land speed record
holder, having last set it in 1983 at
633.468mph, driving Thrust2 at Black
Rock. Bloodhound SSC is seeking not just
to raise, but to obliterate the existing
record, going 237mph faster. Again some
perspective is required. That’s 6mph
more than the average speed for pole
at this year’s Indy 500, and equal to the
fastest lap ever around the Brickyard.
In Noble’s long experience of land
speed record attempts, Bloodhound SSC
is orders of magnitude more difficult than
anything else ever attempted.
“It’s a hockey stick,” says Noble in
describing the curve of complexity the
team faces. “We’re really moving into
supersonic flows that have never been
done before in the aviation industry, in
terms of producing a vehicle that can run
at these speeds on the ground.”
One of the initial complexities of trying to
go 1,000mph on land was finding a place to
do it. The track required must be 12 miles
long, arrow straight and pan flat, with
access to transport and communications.
(MAIN) Bloodhound SSC –
here at its base in Bristol,
England – is nearing
completion. (BELOW) RAF
fighter pilot Andy Green will
be at the controls again,
attempting to beat his own
land speed record.