Thrust SSC - Media Zone

Thrustbrief 38 - 6th October 1997

Battle for Mach 1 On Land

After two aborted runs caused by excessive download on the front suspension, the Thrust team reset the ThrustSSC rear suspension in order to use the active ride developed by Systems Designer Jeremy Bliss. The active suspension has been configured to vary the rear suspension displacement with Mach number - to a profile created by the Design Team - in the case of these runs scheduling the movement from 700mph.

Run 57 was planned to achieve Mach 0.95 and commenced from the South end of the track at 1315hrs. On selecting afterburners, driver Andy Green reported that the left A/B lit poorly but the problem was quickly overcome by recycling the light-up. ThrustSSC peaked at Mach 0.95 outside the measured distance but problems with the 35ft afterburner flames damaging the parachute strop caused the loss of the high speed chute. ThrustSSC pulled up 1500ft from target stop position.

Due to a damaged panel attach fastener, the second run could not be made within the FIA 60 min requirement for a World Record, and was commenced at 1530hrs, achieving its target speed of Mach 0.965 before the measured distance. Peak speed from the car's on board instrumentation was 732mph.

Pegasus Microlight pilot Richard Meredith-Hardy who was flying near ThrustSSC at peak speed reported seeing clear 20ft wide shockwaves protruding from the sides of ThrustSSC just aft of the front wheels. So far there is no evidence of the onset of transonic buffet. Witnesses report that the car now runs so far ahead of its sound that it appears to pass in complete silence - the sound trailing the car by between 3 and 5 miles.

The instability found on Runs 56 & 57 was no longer evident, and subject to the Engineering Team's decision, ThrustSSC will most probably run tomorrow to Mach numbers in the 0.97/0.98 range.

USAC Timekeepers results (MPH)

RunMileKiloDistanceEst. Mach No

The Spirit of America team made three runs today, with a first run at a reported 531mph. The second run may have been aborted due to non-ignition of the afterburner. The third run was short and the details are not known.

The Thrust Teams financial problems are still severe - but many of the ThrustSSC 231 sponsors are individually mailing donations, and there are the first signs of fresh financial sponsor interest.

Said Richard Noble, ThrustSSC Project Director: "ThrustSSC is showing good repeatable performance and stability and the weather is holding well. Although on the face of it there is only Mach 0.035 to go, this may well prove to be the toughest part and the next few days will show. The team is holding together really well and the whole operation is an exceptionally tough but very enjoyable experience."

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