Thrust SSC

Chapter 7 - Quick Results
The Jordan2 Campaign, Jordan, Summer 1997

With the equipment moved to Stansted for flying to Jordan, it was back into the Antonov for the majority of the team. Those who could not be accommodated in the air-freighter flew on scheduled passenger flights with Royal Jordanian Airlines - with the whole team back together, no time was lost in moving to the desert and setting up the Desert Pits.

A day later ThrustSSC was in action with a short 130mph test run to check that all the systems had survived the flight. All checked out well and the car was prepared for the next runs. They weren't to come as soon as hoped - an unbelievable dust storm being kicked up by a storm front. The next day another check run saw the car make another good check-out run, marred only by an electrical failure.

With the daily temperatures rising rapidly, the morning run window was getting shorter - run too late in the day and the engines and electronics would be put at risk. Working quickly, the team put in another two runs to a peak of 300mph - bringing them close to beating the best efforts of Jordan1. A day later they took it up to 430mph - a couple of engineering days were required, then speeds could be taken up to 500 then 550mph.

It wasn't to be - not that Monday anyway. The bonding on the pitot tube at the very front of the car had been damaged, and at 450mph indicated air speed the part finally worked loose. The team would have to settle for just one run that day - but they made up for it on the next with a scorching 540mph. Everyone was elated, but unknown to them the car had suffered serious damage to a suspension bracket. It wasn't until the car was checked out back at the Desert Pits that the problem was found: it would take at least two weeks to repair - with temperatures rising. Staying in Jordan to reach the 600mph target would not be a good idea.

Barely two-and-a-half weeks after leaving England, the team were on their way home to prepare for the supersonic showdown against the Spirit of America team. With speeds some 100mph short of a record, the fund-raising would not be easy - but then again, it never had been.

For more information please read:

Daily Status Pages

The Daily Status Pages from the Jordan2 Campaign are still available:

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