Land Speed Record

Topics: Land speed record, ThrustSSC, Richard Noble Pages: 6 (2134 words) Published: August 13, 2012
Land Speed Record
The land speed record (or absolute land speed record) is the highest speed achieved by a wheeled vehicle on land. There is no single body for validation and regulation; in practice the Category C ("Special Vehicles") flying start regulations are used, officiated by regional or national organizations under the auspices of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. The record is standardized as the speed over a course of fixed length, averaged over two runs (commonly called "passes"). Two runs are required in opposite directions within one hour, and a new record mark must exceed the previous one by one percent to be validated. There are numerous other class records for cars; motorcycles fall into a separate class. What is the fastest speed at which anyone has ever travelled on Earth? The Thrust SSC (Super Sonic Car) is a British jet-propelled car developed by Richard Noble, Glynne Bowsher, Ron Ayers and Jeremy Bliss and it is also the fastest vehicle to ever travel on land. The Thrust SSC holds the World Land Speed Record, set on 15 October 1997, when it achieved a speed of 1,228 km/h (763 mph) and became the first car to officially break the sound barrier at Mach 1.02. The speed of sound is estimated to be roughly around 740 MPH, but varies depending on temperature and elevation. The car was driven by Royal Air Force fighter pilot Wing Commander Andy Green in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, United States. It was powered by two afterburning Rolls-Royce Spey turbofan engines, as used in the British version of the F-4 Phantom II jet fighter. The car was 16.5 m (54 ft) long, 3.7 m (12 ft) wide and weighed 10.5 tons (10.7 t), and the twin engines developed a net thrust of 223 kN (50,000 lbf), a power output of 110,000 bhp (82MW), burning around 18 litres per second (4.0 Imperial gallons/s or 4.8 US gallons/s). Transformed into the usual terms for car mileages based on its maximum speed, the fuel consumption was about 5,500 l/100 km or 0.04 mpg U.S. The record run in October 1997 was preceded by extensive test runs of the vehicle in Autumn 1996 and Spring 1997 in the Al-Jafr desert (located in Ma'an Governorate) in Jordan, a location unknown before for its capabilities as a test range for high speed land vehicles, with numerous advantages compared to the salt deserts of the Western United States. When did the concept of the land speed record first come into being? The first regulators were the Automobile Club de France, who proclaimed themselves arbiters of the record in about 1902. Different clubs had different standards and did not always recognise the same world records until 1924, when the Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus (AIACR) introduced new regulations: two passes in opposite directions (to negate the effects of wind) averaged with a maximum of 30 minutes (later more) between runs, average gradient of the racing surface not more than 1 percent, timing gear accurate within 0.01 sec, and cars must be wheel-driven. National or regional auto clubs (such as AAA and SCTA) had to be AIACR members to ensure records would be recognized. The AIACR became the FIA in 1947. Controversy arose in 1963: Spirit of America failed on being a three-wheeler (leading the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme to certify the record when the FIA refused) and not wheel-driven so the FIA introduced a special wheel-driven class. No holder of the absolute record since has been wheel-driven. Find out about one person who has devoted some of his/her life to challenging this record and succeeded. It need not to be the current record holder. Richard Noble

Richard Noble, OBE (born 6 March 1946) was the holder of the land speed record between 1983 and 1997, and was the project director of Thrust SSC, the vehicle which holds the current land speed record, set at Black Rock Desert, Nevada in 1997. Thrust 2, the record-breaking car driven by Noble, travelled at 633.468 mph (1019 km/h). The accomplishment won...
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