|Manufacturer||SSC Programme Limited|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Land Speed Record vehicle|
|Curb weight||10.6 Tonnes|
Thrust2 is a British designed and built jet propelled car, which held the world land speed record from 4 October 1983 to 25 September 1997.
The Thrust2 is powered by a single Rolls-Royce Avon jet engine sourced from an English Electric Lightning, and has a configuration somewhat resembling that of the mid-1960s-era J79 turbojet-powered land speed record cars of Art Arfons, collectively known as the "Green Monster" cars.
The “Land Speed Record” (LSR), which was valid for 12 years, 11 months and 11 days at that time, was 622.407 mph (1,001.667 km/h) over one mile (with a flying start). The record was set on October 23, 1970 by the American Gary Gabelich with Blue Flame, a rocket car on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Richard Noble stepped up to "bring back this record for Britain".
The time it took Richard Noble from the idea to the first concept to the successful record attempt was nine years.In 1977 the Thrust2 project was officially presented at the Motorfair 1977 at London's Earls Court. In 1978, the design and construction of Thrust2 began. The hired designer John Ackroyd retired to an abandoned cottage on the Isle of Wight for the design studies.
Noble's plan was to build three vehicles: The first vehicle (Thrust1) was intended as a pure "test platform" for parts development and turbine tests, and was not intended for the record attempt.
Then a "demonstration car" should be built with the second vehicle (Thrust2), with which the interest of potential sponsors should be aroused. As a special highlight, this car was designed as a two-seater with an additional cabin on the left-hand side of the vehicle. Noble wanted to impress passengers / sponsors with runs up to 200 miles per hour (approx. 320 km / h) and win them over to his project. The last thing that was planned was the actual record-breaking vehicle (Thrust3).
Thrust1 completed its first high-speed run on March 7, 1977. The first run was performed with a standing start at idle thrust and gradual acceleration and had an estimated top speed of about 180 mph (about 290 km / h). The second run was a so-called drag start, in which the thrust against the brakes is built up and then released. At approximately 140 mph, a rear wheel bearing stuck, the vehicle slewed sideways and overturned several times. Since this "triple roll" mostly took place in the air and the car landed on its side, the damage to the vehicle itself was relatively minor and Noble was also uninjured. The Rolls-Royce Derwent engine with its protruding combustion chambers had sustained the large portion of the damage. The jet pipe was torn off and at least one combustion chamber was destroyed.
Thrust1 was never used again and the wreck was sold to a scrap dealer for £175. Despite this setback, Noble was not discouraged and saw this as completing the first step in his original plan. After a new calculation of the financial situation, Noble came to the decision to streamline the project. The levels Thrust2 (as a marketing tool) and Thrust3 (as an emergency vehicle) were merged, and the further development work was placed in the hands of John Ackroyd.
On 4 October 1983 the car reached a top speed of 650.88 mph (1,047.49 km/h) and broke the record at 633.468 mph (1,019.468 km/h) (average speed of two runs within one hour).
KTVN TV (Reno, Nevada) reporter/photographers Michael Hagerty and Gary Martin covered the record setting attempt in the days leading up to the record. The car was unceremoniously stored under a tarpaulin in the only automotive garage at Black Rock desert when it wasn't being worked on by the team. A propane torch was used to burn the line straight down the hard cracked dirt of the desert for the driver to follow. No other cars were allowed to approach the race track except on the perpendicular lest the driver accidentally follow those car tracks as a different path through the measured mile.
In the record attempt on October 3, the following results were achieved in detail:
|1983||October 4||Black Rock Desert||Richard Noble||Thrust2||633,468||1019,468||the recognized record, averaged from the two runs over the measured mile|
|624.241||1004.619||The result of the first run|
|642.971||1034.762||The result of the second run|
|650,88||1047,490||the fastest individual run that the vehicle has ever completed (without "back-up" within an hour)|
When the car was offered for sale at £90,000 in 1991, an extensive fundraising campaign was organised without government assistance to keep the car in Britain. The bid was successful, and today Thrust2 and its successor, ThrustSSC, are displayed at the Coventry Transport Museum in Coventry, England.
In 1997 Thrust2's record was broken by Richard Noble's follow up car, ThrustSSC, with a top speed of 1,228 km/h (763 mph).[ citation needed ]
Donald Malcolm Campbell, was a British speed record breaker who broke eight absolute world speed records on water and on land in the 1950s and 1960s. He remains the only person to set both world land and water speed records in the same year (1964). He died during a water speed record attempt at Coniston Water in the Lake District, England.
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An aero-engined car is an automobile powered by an engine designed for aircraft use. Most such cars have been built for racing, and many have attempted to set world land speed records. While the practice of fitting cars with aircraft engines predates World War I by a few years, it was most popular in the interwar period between the world wars when military-surplus aircraft engines were readily available and used to power numerous high-performance racing cars. Initially powered by piston aircraft engines, a number of post-World War II aero-engined cars have been powered by aviation turbine and jet engines instead. Piston-engined, turbine-engined, and jet-engined cars have all set world land speed records. There have also been some non-racing automotive applications for aircraft engines, including production vehicles such as the Tucker 48 and prototypes such as the Chrysler Turbine Car, Fiat Turbina, and General Motors Firebirds. In the late 20th century and into the 21st century, there has also been a revival of interest in piston-powered aero-engined racing cars.
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