Back in 1997 the fastest speed on land was recorded. The Thrust SSC which was piloted by Andy Green went so fast it superseded the speed of sound. This was fourteen years after the Thrust 2, which broke the land speed record back in 83’.
The Thrust SSC was able to go a mammoth 763 mph in the Black Rock desert of Nevada. With such speed the Thrust SSC was able to break the sound barrier and have its name cemented in history. The feat was accomplished in October 15, 1997. The record was acknowledged in November the same year by the Motor Sport Council in November the same year.
Aiding the Thrust SSC to become the fastest on land were jet engines provided by Rolls Royce. The two Rolls Royce Spey turbofan engines were able to produce together a colossal 110,000 bhp. Weighing at 10.5 tons it would need every horsepower it would get. The torque on this behemoth of car engineering was 998 bhp/tonne. These engines are also to be found in the British F-4 Phantom II jet fighters. One of their biggest challenges the Thrust SSC team faced apart from getting the best place to chart a course on, was the thirst of their jet engines. The engines were fuel guzzlers of extraordinary sorts as they were able to consume 18 litres/second, while producing a net thrust of 223 kN. Do the numbers and turn this to regular car mileage and you get fuel efficiency of 55 L/km.
Richard Noble who piloted the Thrust 2 was one of the brains behind the Thrust SSC project. Thus Noble has had a noble history in breaking land speed records. In fact Noble is currently running the Bloodhound SSC project which is expected to go at 1000 mph. The Bloodhound will also be piloted by Andy Green again. However, this time Noble and his team will be facing stiff competition from the North American Eagle project.
Take a look below as the land speed record is shattered and the sound barrier breached: