713.990mph measured kilometre - 714.144mph measured mile
The current battle that the world is witnessing in the quest for the Land Speed Record is possibly the greatest motor race of the century. Britain's Richard Noble is quoted as saying so - and he is surely qualified to make such comments.
As the previous Land Speed Record holder (633.468mph), Noble has embarked on an ambitious campaign to set the worlds first Supersonic Land Speed Record - That is to say that for the first time on record, man will break the sound barrier - on the ground.
He is not alone with this aim however and he faces strong opposition from the American project of LSR Veteran Craig Breedlove. Breedlove - a 60 year old Speed Junkie at heart has suffered all the excesses of Land Speed Record attempts through the years, for he has held the record on many occasions but has also suffered at the hands of fate more than once.
At the other end of the Black Rock Desert, where the attempts are taking place, Noble has chosen to take a managerial role with his latest effort. His pilot - 34 year old RAF Squadron Leader Andy Green. Here is a man who has flown the cream of England's fighter jets, for the last ten years. Surely the best training possible for the high-speed runs in what effectively amounts to a land-bound jet aircraft.
Both Thrust SSC (Super Sonic Car) and Breedlove's Spirit Of America share a common theory, in using Jet Engines for propulsion but that is where the similarities end. SSC uses two Rolls Royce Spey turbojets, producing 22,500lbs of thrust each. That is the equivalent of 145 Formula One Cars in total. Rear-wheel steering sets it apart from most other LSR cars and according to the SSC team, it is the first car designed that can realise the ability to break the sound barrier.
Spirit of America on the other hand is half the weight, seven feet shorter, powered by a single 20,000lb thrust, water injected General Electric J79 engine. While the two cars and the two teams may be fighting for different sides - England vs America, Single vs Twin Engined, 60yr old LSR Vet vs 34 yr old fighter pilot - the goal is common - to break the Land Speed Record and to break the Sound Barrier.
Stay in touch with the action
Catch the ThrustSSC web site at http://thrustssc.digital.co.uk
or visit Craig Breedlove's Spirit of America site at http://www.spiritofamerica.com.