Skip to main content

Thrust SSC Supersonic Car

Location: Coventry, , England
Date: 1997
Category:
Creator(s): Noble, Richard

First Land Vehicle to Exceed the Speed of Sound; averaged 763.04 mph 
(1227.99 km/h), Mach 1.02

Powered by two Rolls-Royce MK 202 Spey Turbofan engines which produced over 44,000 lbs (196kN) of thrust, the Thrust SSC Supersonic car is recognized as the world land speed record holder. In achieving an average speed of over 760 mph in 1997 at Black Rock Dry Lake, Nevada, it became the first land vehicle to officially break the sound barrier.

The Thrust SSC  was conceived by entrepreneur Richard Noble and designed by Ron Ayers, former chief aerodynamicist at British Aerospace and a team of engineers. The strategic mounting and positioning of the engines, placement of the tires, management of safety and control of lift force were just some of the team's mechanical and aerodynamic solutions to problems that would have prevented Royal Air Force pilot Andy Green from achieving his record-setting run.

Era: 1990-1999
Innovation designated by:
Thrust SSC Supersonic Car
Courtesy Flickr/Ben Sutherland (CC BY 2.0)
The Thrust SSC at Coventry Motor Museum
Address:
Coventry Transport Museum
Millennium Place, Hales Street
Coventry, , England

We hope you enjoyed this essay.

Please support this 70-year tradition of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.

Donate

Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter.
The subscriber's email address.