Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thrust SSC, the car broke the sound barrier - photos and video

The sound barrier was a concept largely unexplored until the mid 40's. The pilots of some P-51, P-47, I-262, Ta-152 and other fighters of World War II noticed a strange aerodynamic effects when did minced long and caught a lot of speed. The sound barrier was officially broken exactly 60 years ago, the USAF pilot Charles Yeager in a Bell X1 rocket powered motor ... but that's another story.

After breaking the record in the air, the challenge was to achieve at the surface and on wheels. The difficulties were considerable, especially on the power required and the stability of the vehicle. A Bugatti Veyron by little beyond 400 km / h with 1,001 horsepower, and when they want to get that speed, it takes a bestial power, much less is proportional.

Hit a jump to 1997 in Black Rock, Nevada (USA). Andy Green is intended to break the sound barrier, and therefore the land speed record with the Thrust Super Sonic Car (SSC). I had no engine pistons (what we know for cars) but two Rolls Royce Spey 202 jet engines that propelled the legendary McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom, the father of the F-15. The power that could develop the car was in the order of 110,000 hp, of course, the reactors did not encourage any transmission to the wheels, they were free.

On October 13, amid great expectations from the media, Andy Green managed to reach the not inconsiderable figure of 1229.81 kilometers per hour, more than Mach 1 or 740 miles per hour, but did not become official. Two days after the record was improved to 1232.93 Km / h, then yes.

The feat was performed in the desert between heavy security. For those who ask the question, no speed trap of DGT have managed to get the license plate, it is beyond their means for more than 800 km / h.

Why I said officially? That assumes that the Budweiser Rocket managed to surpass Mach 1.01 in 1979, but there was insufficient evidence to certify the record, by the lack of measures and that the witnesses did not hear the sonic boom that occurs when you exceed that speed .

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