Monday, April 22, 2019

Breaking The Land Speed Record

Breaking The Land Speed Record

The land-speed record has long been a staple for brave men and women to try to topple. Ever since those black and white days of the early 1900s, people have been experimenting with speed and breaking ever and any record there is. It’s an adrenaline kick; a real demonstration of just how clever, technical and determined you and your team can be.

There have been hundreds of attempts to beat the hallowed land-speed record over the decades, but only a few have broken the record. It takes more than a big engine to break this bad-boy, and if you get it wrong you could be looking at almost certain death. The speeds it takes to even come close to the record are ridiculous, so to beat it you’re really going to need to have your wits about (and bleeding edge adapted aircraft technology behind you).

One of the most famous land-speed record attempts was done by the beautiful Silver Bullet. This car had it all: the looks, the huge engines, and the power. But what it didn’t have is record-breaking capability. The Silver Bullet boasted two 2,000hp V12 engines, which was apparently capable of propelling the car to around 250mph – that’s 250mph in 1930!

Silver Bullet
License: Royalty Free or iStock image source

Unfortunately, the team couldn’t manage it, but the fact they even gave it a go proves just how determined petrol heads can be – and that passion still remains today.

Blue Bird
License: Creative Commons image source

Possibly the most famous land-speed record cars is the Blue Bird. Driven (or piloted) by Donald and Malcolm Campbell, the Blue Bird was capable of over 300mph. Unfortunately, Donald died at the hands of the Blue Bird in 1967 on Coniston Water, which just goes to show how dangerous record attempts can be.

If we fast forward a little, the current land-speed record is held by the ridiculous ThrustSSC, which toppled 763mph in 1997. It is still the only car that has broken the sound barrier, and while many years have passed since, nobody has been able to beat the record.

Thrust SSC
image source

Thankfully, the push continues. The company, ThrustSSC, are hungry to beat their record. But not just by a few extra miles per hour. What they aim to hit is a ridiculous 1,000mph. That’s 1,000mph in a car piloted by one man.

As amazing as that would be, the team are struggling to go ahead with the project because of a lack of funds. Let’s just hope they can find the money and we can all see a record attempt for the 21st century. 1,000mph in a car is just ridiculous, so if they could pull it off the team would obviously be cemented in the pages of history forever.

Until that day, there are other teams hoping to take the mantle. The North American Eagle Project is underway and, if all goes well, they will hit 808mph. That will easily topple the current record, but the question remains: would their efforts be overshadowed by the aforementioned Bloodhound attempts?

Bloodhound SSC
License: Creative Commons image source

Time will tell on that, but what is guaranteed is the next few years are looking extremely competitive and exciting in this super-fuelled, adrenaline-kicked world of jet-engines, brave people and a hell of a lot of technology. Best of luck to everyone involved!

Stealth at Thorpe Park currently holds the record for the fastest rollercoaster in Britain – visit it to feel a modicum of the Silver Bullet’s speed (and see just how fast these dare devils are travelling).


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