Thrust SSC - Media Zone

Thrustbrief 40 - 8th October 1997

Battle for Mach 1 On Land

Today's conditions were very far from the ideal weather that enabled the Mach 0.98 750mph (untimed/unverified) on October 7th. High ESE winds of 20-35 mph raised dust-storms all day and at times conditions around the ThrustSSC base camp were similar to an arctic whiteout. Local weather forecasts predict the arrival of a new front and there are the first mountain snow warnings of the season.

The conditions have meant that neither Spirit of America nor ThrustSSC has run today. Spirit of America had the first early morning slot and the arrangement will be repeated tomorrow (9th).

ThrustSSC is now ready to make the first true and timed supersonic runs - and both car and team are ready to run. Astonishing aerial photos of ThrustSSC at Mach 0.98 on the 7th show the car approaching the measured mile with a clear 300ft wide shockwave which raises a substantial dust trail on the desert surface.

Despite the white-out conditions work has continued unabated on track development. Due to the effects of ThrustSSC tracks on the desert surface each high speed run requires a further 13 miles of new 50 ft wide surface. Whilst the virgin desert surface is fine for surface condition, each track has to be surveyed, white lined with Gerlach gypsum and then walked by volunteer fodders to remove any stray foreign objects and stones. Today 26 track miles were relined after the dust damage and a further 18 miles of new track lined. The Fodding Team managed 6 track miles.

The project funding is still poor with funds due to run out on Tuesday 14th. However the project's Internet appeal to its 1.1 million readers is generating substantial support which will almost certainly allow a few more days of operation.

All are hoping for a supersonic day tomorrow - but the forecast is poor with 40% chance of rain. Better weather is forecast for Sunday.

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