Former British Royal Air Force Pilot Andy Green was the first to reach supersonic speed on land. He has set the fastest recorded time in October 15, 1997 at 763 mph (1, 228km/h), in Black Rock Desert, Nevada. To this day Green is still the world record holder. Besides the all important pilot of the vehicle, there were four other noteworthy players in the original Thrust SSC partnership; Glynne Bowsher, Ron Ayers, Jeremy Bliss, and Richard Noble, the latter himself a record holder. The car was powered by two after-burning Rolls-Royce Spey turbofan engines, as used in the British version of the F-4 Phantom II jet fighter.
Image: Wikipedia, creative commons
A new land speed record endeavour is now being planned for 2013, called the Bloodhound SSC Project; a perfect marriage between education and speed. As the team plans on sharing their data, design, milestones, trials and tribulations in real time. In other words, this will become the first educational land speed record reality show and tell; thus educating our future generation of scientists, mathematicians, and engineers whilst simultaneously trying to set a “new land world record in speed.”
Andy Green, Richard Noble and many of the Thrust SSC team, are now actively involved with their new adventure - the 1,600 km/h Bloodhound Project to be held in 2013, in Hakskeen Pan South Africa’s Northern Cape. The success rate of the undertaking and breaking the world record depends largely on the track - a dry lake bed ground surface with a slight degree of “give” would best suit the vehicle’s solid wheels. Hakskeen Pan as a location was finally chosen after a two year comprehensive search was conducted all over the world for the ideal place.
In 1929, Sir Malcolm Campbell, attempted to raise the land speed record in his Napier-Campbell Blue Bird not far from Hakskeen Pan in the Northern Cape at a place called Verneuk Pan, read the full story here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verneukpan
Dave Rowley, from the educational team, will call South Africa home during this period; relocating here to develop a close network with schools, universities and colleges; thus making the project’s development efforts available to classes in 207 countries, with an estimated 7-million students able to access it.
Northern Cape Crew busy clearing the track at Hakskeen pan
I plan on leaving for Upington next month, and if all goes according to plan, I will be stopping by Hakskeen Pan to see this place for myself. So check back with www.travelandtradesouthafrica.com for updates on this story. Until then drive safely...