1997: Thrust SSC driven by Wing Commander Andy Green
Twin Rolls-Royce Spey
In 1997 the Thrust2's
record was broken by Richard Noble's follow up car,
the Thrust SSC (Super Sonic Car). This later iteration
was jointly developed by Richard Noble, Glynne Bowsher,
Ron Ayers and Jeremy Bliss.
On October 15, 1997 the
car achieved an incredible 1,228 km/h (763 mph),
and in the process not only smashing the land speed
record, but also claiming the title as the first
land vehicle to ever “officially” break
the sound barrier.
The car was driven by Wing Commander Andy Green, again at the
Black Rock Desert in Nevada USA. Powered by two afterburning Rolls-Royce Spey
engines (as used in British F-4 Phantom II jet fighters), the twin engines developed
a thrust of 223 kN (50,000 lbf) and burned around 4 Imperial gallons
After the record was set, the World Motor Sport Council released the
following message; “The World Motor Sport Council homologated the new world
land speed records set by the team ThrustSSC of Richard Noble, driver Andy Green,
on 15 October 1997 at Black Rock Desert, Nevada (USA).
This is the first time
in history that a land vehicle has exceeded the speed of sound. The new records
are as follows: Flying mile 1227.985
km/h (763.035 mph), Flying kilometre 1223.657
km/h (760.343 mph).
In setting the record, the sound
barrier was broken in both the north and south
runs. Paris, 11 November 1997.
If only Count Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat could have
been there to see it.