Thrust SSC – Andy Green

On October 15 1997, at the Black Rock Desert in Nevada USA, British RAF pilot Andy Green set a new, and still unbeaten, Land Speed Record in Thrust SSC. Here are some of the key facts and figures about the record-breaking car…

Thrust SSC, the Land Speed Record breaking car driven by Andy Green, on display at the Transport Museum in Coventry, UK.

Did You Know?
Thrust SSC broke the sound-barrier almost exactly 50 years (+ 1 day) after US pilot Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier in Earth’s atmosphere, flying the Bell X-1 research rocket plane (October 14 1947).

763.035 mph – the record-breaking speed averaged over the 2 runs of the measured mile (1227.986 km/h).

Did You Know?
Thrust SSC is the first Land Speed Record car to break the sound barrier, and did so on both the north and south runs.

4 mpg – the approximate volume of fuel burned per second, measured in Imperial gallons per mile (18 litres or 4.8 US gallons).

0.5 mpg – Thrust SSC’s equivalent fuel consumption, measured in Imperial gallons per mile (5.5 L/km, or 0.4 US mpg).

2 – the number of jet engines used (after-burning Rolls-Royce Spey engines).

Did You Know?
Thust SSC used the same jet engines found in the British F-4 Phantom II jet fighter.

5:1 – the power to weight ratio of each of the two Rolls Royce Spey 202 jet engines (weighing 1,856 kg and outputing 20,500 lbf of thrust).

50,000 lbf – the amount of thrust generated by the car, measured in pound-force, a standardised value for acceleration (223 kN – kilonewtons).

110,000 bhp – Thrust SSC’s power output, measured in brake horsepower (82 MW – Megawatts).

4 seconds – the estimated time to accelerate from 0-100mph (161kph).

16 seconds – the estimated time to go from 0-600mph (1000kph).

Did You Know?
The ‘SSC’ used in the name Thrust SSC stands for ‘SuperSonic Car’.

54 feet – the length of Thrust SSC (16.5m).

12 feet – the width of the car (3.66m).

7 feet – the height of the car (2.14m).

Did You Know?
Thrust SSC is the first and only Land Speed Record car to have used rear-wheel steering.

10.5 tons – Thrust SSC’s weight.

11,267,163 – the number of visits to the official Thrust SSC website in it’s peak week.

Andy Green, Richard Noble and the Thrust SSC team pose with the car at the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.

Image credit: Andrew Graves

Thrust SSC Videos

Supersonic Dreams documentary:

Did You Know?
Thrust SSC can be seen in the Land Speed Record exhibition at the Coventry Transport Museum in Warwickshire.