A new month brought new challenges to both teams battling for the land speed record on the Black Rock Desert, Nevada. After almost a week of engineering work to prepare the twin Rolls-Royce Spey engined ThrustSSC jet car for the next steps on the road to Mach 1, Mother Nature took a hand with high winds and dust storms cancelling plans for two runs by Andy Green at Mach 0.96.
The weather had been perfect all week, but try as they may, 12:00 noon was the earliest possible time that the team could complete the work for Andy Green to take the car out once more. Although aerodynamicist Ron Ayers was keen to point out that these were simply more engineering runs, if they had been completed satisfactorily within an hour then that would have constituted yet another new record.
By 10:00am high winds blowing in from the south-west caused dust storms on the playa bad enough for proceedings to be cancelled for the day with all non-necessary personnel being evacuated from the Pit Base. The car is now ready, so if conditions are good tomorrow morning, then two runs with the same profiles will be carried out.
The Spirit of America team are still not sure if they have cured their engine and fuel system problems but, conditions allowing, they will also make runs tomorrow to see if the removal of one of their three front wheels cures their vibration problems. Having been visited by the President of main sponsor Shell (who also spent time with the ThrustSSC team) Craig Breedlove is reported as saying that he now has sufficient funds to continue his project into next year. The target he has to aim for, will depend on what is achieved by the ThrustSSC team within the next few days.
Media interest continues at an unabated pace with new arrivals from around the world determined to be here for the final push through Mach 1. The media crossover effect also continues to grow, with news channels such as ITN and CNN broadcasting the Thrust Website address as part of their news reports. Webmaster Jeremy Davey says Internet accesses were 730,000 yesterday even though no runs were planned with a total for the week of 5.7million.
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