Thrust SSC I SSC Program (gb) Specifications and Review
At the time of writing, the Thrust SSC (SuperSonic Car) is the fastest land vehicle in the world. It has held the land speed record since October 1997, when it reached 763 mph (1,228 kph) in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. It was the first time a land vehicle had exceeded the speed of sound.
The Thrust has two Rolls-Royce turbojet engines from the British version of the F-4 Phantom II fighter aircraft. These supply the equivalent of the power of 145 Formula One racing cars. The British-built vehicle is 54 feet (16.5 m) long and weighs 10.5 tons. Fuel economy is low at 0.04 mpg (5,500 liters per 100 km). Thrust SSC is now displayed at the Transport Museum in Coventry, England.
The driver for the record-breaking run was RAF Wing Commander Andy Green, a jet pilot who also captains the RAF’s toboggan team on the Cresta Run. Green also holds the land speed record for a diesel vehicle—in the JCB Dieselmax (328.7mph/529kph).
The project was headed by engineer and adventurer Richard Noble. He is now working on an even more formidable machine, the Bloodhound SSC, and plans to use the power of a jet engine and a rocket in an attempt to reach more than 1,000 mph (1,600 kph). Rival projects are the North American Eagle, a U.S./ Canadian jet-powered vehicle, and the Silver Bullet, an Australian roc ket-p rope led machine.
The Thrust, however, is not technically the fastest car in the world because it does not use its wheels to drive; they merely steer. The fastest wheel-driven vehicle is currently the U.S.-built Vesco Turbinator, which achieved 470 mph (757 kph).
1997 • two turbojets • 110,000 bhp/82,000 kW •
0-100 mph/161 kph in 4 seconds • 763 mph/1,228 kph