Thrust SSC (Super Sonic Car) is a British designed and built jet propelled car developed by Richard Noble and Ron Ayers, which holds the world land speed record. It is powered by two afterburning Rolls-Royce Spey engines, as used in British variants of the F-4 Phantom II. It is 54 ft (16.5 m) long, 12 ft (3.7 m) wide and weighs 10.5 tons.

On October 15, 1997 in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada USA, driven by Andy Green, ThrustSSC became the first land vehicle to smash the sound barrier, reaching a speed of 1227 km/h (763 mph).







Thrust SSC, Black Rock desert






Supersonic Race Status - Wednesday 9th July 2003

The first ever supersonic World Land Speed Record of 763.035mph was set on 15th October 1997 by Andy Green in ThrustSSC, on the Black Rock Desert, Nevada. The speed of sound was exceeded on land by Andy Green and ThrustSSC for the first time in history on 13th October 1997.


Thrust SSC at speed on Jafr Desert, Jordan


The ThrustSSC team have returned to the UK having achieved their objective. The Spirit of America team have left the Black Rock Desert with the weather closing in. ThrustSSC has reached a highest speed through the measured mile to date of 766mph with runs completed. Spirit of America has reached 636mph with runs planned to continue in the future.

Spirit of America reached a peak speed of 675mph on the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, before crashing during October 1996's record attempt.

Thrust SSC is the most powerful, most extraordinary car ever to be designed to attack the Land Speed Record, and as the SSC (Super Sonic Car) in the name indicates, it is also one of the first with genuine potential to breach the Sound Barrier.



Cutaway drawing of Thrust SSC

Where Thrust 2 used a 17,000 pound thrust Rolls-Royce Avon 302 engine from a Lightning fighter, Thrust SSC is the first car to use two turbojets.  These will initially be Rolls-Royce Spey 202s from the Phantom fighter, each producing 20,000 pounds of thrust. Richard Noble has acquired two of them, but also has two even more powerful 205 units (25,000lb of thrust) for use when ThrustSSC has proved itself in transonic testing. Thrust SSC thus has the power of 1000 Ford Escorts, or 145 Formula One cars...

It weighs 10 tonnes, and performance estimates confirm it will accelerate from standstill to 100mph (161kph) in four seconds or 0-600mph (1000kph) in 16 seconds. Within five miles (8 km) it will then reach its maximum speed of 850 mph within half a minute.



Richard Noble Autobiography


Overall Design  Engines  Rear-Wheel Steering  Cockpit  Parachute Braking System
Wheels 2, Stones 0 - The impact between the solid aluminium wheels on desert stone







Thrust SSC supersonic boom







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Richard Noble's Thrust SSC fastest car on earth @ 745mph





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