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Thrust SSC Land Speed Record Holder
Photo credit: IMechE

LSR Quest: Racing Beyond 763 MPH

Published January 12, 2024 at 7:03 PM
BY RYAN JOHNSON
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On the morning of October 15, 1997, Nevada's Black Rock Desert witnessed the groundbreaking moment when the Thrust SuperSonic Car (ThrustSSC) raced into history.

This 54-foot jet car, powered by Rolls-Royce Spey engines, achieved the world's first supersonic land speed record (LSR) at 763.035 mph, with pilot Andy Green at the helm.


Over a quarter-century later, the LSR remains unbroken. The journey through land speed records began in 1893 with a steam locomotive, and milestones like breaking the 200-mph barrier in 1927 and surpassing 600 mph in 1965 marked progress.


Since ThrustSSC's record-setting run, attempts to break it faced challenges. Steve Fossett's pursuit ended with his tragic death, while the North American Eagle Project, despite hitting 400 mph, succumbed to funding issues and tragedy.

Aussie Invader and Bloodhound LSR now aim to surpass 1,000 mph, facing financial hurdles and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Bloodhound, led by Andy Green, seeks to achieve an environmentally-conscious LSR using synthetic e-fuel.

With funding challenges and aspirations of 800 and 1,000 mph, the quest for the land speed record continues, intertwining engineering feats and the pursuit of educational initiatives.

Explore the past, present, and future of LSR endeavors, where each attempt adds a new chapter to the thrilling history of pushing the limits of speed.

Credits: Free Think
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