> > Been following the progress of the British 'Thrust' and Breedlove's
> > 'Spirit of America' efforts at going supersonic there at Black Rock here
> > for the last few days.
> > Yesterday, they got above 700 mph for the first time in world history --
> > but didn't capture the record because the second of two (required) runs
> > must occur within 60 minutes of each other -- which this didn't happen.
> > Well, today it did -- and we now have a new world land speed record of
> > 714+ mph (average) -- with the top run at nearly 100 mph over the LAST
> > record at 728 mph -- set right here at Black Rock back in 1983 by the
> > SAME TEAM (then 633 mph) -- the British effort headed by Richard Noble.
> I thought I remembered someone doing runs at least this fast way back in the
> 70's or early 80's. The name of the car may have been something like Blue
> Flame, ran on natural gas, and had a Sidewinder kick motor to push it over
> the top in the measured mile. I thought they claimed a mach one run. Am I
> full of it, was their speed that much lower than these folks just did, or
> are there some sort of seperate divisions depending on car technology?
No separate divisions -- but there are rules requiring back-to-back
runs, in opposite directions, within one hour; the recognized speed is
the average for the two passes through the measured mile. The Budweiser
Rocket car, back in about 1978, made one run at about 700 mph
(unofficial), and was photographed with what appeared to be shock wave
effects on the ground directly under the nose (indicating transonic
effects, though probably still below Mach 1), but was unable to turn
around and make the return run.
The Blue Flame was, IIRC, the first car to set a Land Speed Record over
600 mph -- running, as you recalled, on compressed or liquefied natural
gas and liquid oxygen, with a Sidewinder motor for added kick. This was
in about the 1974-1976 time frame, as I recall it, with Gary Gabelich at
FWIW, the Spirit of America is still out at Black Rock, too -- a car
with a better reliability record than that of Thrust, and based more on
finess than brute power; it uses a single jet engine instead of two, has
much less frontal area, and uses some significant aero trickery in an
attempt to prevent shock waves from getting trapped under the body.
This is the same car (with a few more modifications) that veered off
course on two wheels and got salt rash on the left-side air intake last
summer -- but Mr. Breedlove wasn't satisfied with becoming the only
person to survive losing control of a car at 600+ mph; he wants the
record, and is very much ready to go 700+ and try for Mach 1.
Anyone notice the rockets are all gone, and they're back to jets again?
There were jet cars in the 1960s -- machines like the Green Monster,
with a >huge< single engine and a tiny control cabin alongside it; they
were replaced by rockets in the 1970s, and the jets started to come back
again by the 1980s...
Take no thought for the morrow; that's your privilege. But don't
complain if when it gets here you're off guard. -- John Brunner
Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer NAR # 70141-SR Insured
Rocket Pages http://members.aol.com/silntobsvr/launches.htm
Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
and don't expect them to be perfect.