After the euphoria of setting a new land speed record, the last couple of days have been spent studying the data from the record runs and giving the ThrustSSC jet car a complete checkover prior to moving on to higher speeds.
Some further modifications to the rear suspension system are being carried out while one new underbody panel has been fabricated and another reattached more securely. The enormous forces under the car detached a small underbody panel at the rear beneath the parachutes cans. A new panel is now bonded and fastened to stiffer and stronger attachment points. There was also some considerable wear to the top parachute strop loop where it attaches to the anchorage point at the rear of the car. The loop was made slightly too large causing it to chafe and wear when it was deployed after the record runs. This has been replaced with a new strop.
Glynne Bowsher, Jerry Bliss, Chris Cowell and Nick Dove report that all other key elements such as wheels, bearings, brakes, engines and the on-board systems are all performing reliably and in many cases well within their design specification, so things now look good for runs at higher speeds. Before then, two more high speed engineering runs will take place on Wednesday before run profiles are decided for Thursday.
The Spirit of America Team also say that they will run on Wednesday in an attempt to identify vibration problems that have occurred on their last two runs. Their latest run on Sunday at about 350mph was to confirm correct operation of a modified steering system and fuel supply system but the vibration problems continued so they have removed the middle of the three front wheels to stop dirt packing into the wheels - this thought to be the cause of the vibration.
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