The Physics Factbook™
Edited by Glenn Elert -- Written by his students
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|Fastest land car. Guinness World Records, 2001.||"The one mile land speed record is 763.055 mph set by Andy Green (UK) in Thrust SSC in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, USA, on Oct 15, 1997. The car is powered by two Rolls Royce Spey 205 jet engines, which together generate 22.32 tons of thrust"||341 m/s
|"Kitty Hamleton (USA holds the record for the fastest land speed achieved by a women having reached 524.030 mph in the rocket powered three wheeled SM1 Motivator in the Alvard Desert, Oregon, USA, on Dec. 6,1976"||234 m/s
|"Richard Noble's Supersonic Thrust is now the car to beat." Boys Life. Fall 1998.||"The timer confirmed the speed was 759 mph -- just over the sound barrier. The team hustled to do it again. Boom! Boom! The second run was even faster -- 766 mph For the first time ever, a car had broken the speed of sound"||342 m/s|
|Book of 1983 Guinness World Records. New York: Sterling, 1983.||"The highest speed attained by any jet engined car is 613.995 mph over a flying 666.386 yd by the 34-ft-7-in-long, 9000-lb Spirit of America-Sonic I, driven by Norman Craig Breedlove (b Los Angeles, March 23,1938) on Bonneville Slat Flats, Utah on Nov 15, 1965."||274 m/s|
|Thrust SSC (Super Sonic Car). Microcadam.||"On October 4, 1983 Richard Noble drove his Thrust2 vehicle, powered by a single Rolls Royce Avon 302 jet engine, into history at the Black Rock Desert in Nevada by setting a new land speed record (LSR) of 633.468 mph."||283 m/s|
So what is the fastest speed of an experimental car? In order to set a record, two record runs had to be made within an hour of each other. The runs had to be in opposite directions to reduce wind effect. Back in 1983, the record speed achieved by any jet engined car was 274 m/s. The car was called Thrust2, powered by a single Rolls Royce Avon 302 jet engine and was driven by Richard Nobel, but he was not satisfied. His new goal was not only to break his own record but also to break the sound barrier.
In 1997 for the first time ever, the modified version of Thrust2, Thrust SSC had broken the speed of sound at 342 m/s at Black Rock Desert in Nevada. This time Andy Green was assigned by Nobel to do the job.
The supersonic car weighed over 20,000 pounds, twice the weight of any other jet car. Two Rolls Royce Spey 205 jet engines were put on the sides of the car. The reason why the SSC was built heavy was because cars tend to be airborne at sonic speed which would mean that would be the end of the car and the driver. A crash at more than 335 m/s is something that would have to be avoided. The first record run was just over the sound barrier at 242 m/s, but on the second run, the SSC and broken the speed of sound at 342 m/s. This proved that even a car that weighs over 10 tons could still be as fast as the speed of sound
Janet Chan -- 2001
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