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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Sonic Boom Boy

I don't know whether to call Wing Commander Andy Green a hero or a fool.

He's either one or the other, or perhaps both.
He's already the fastest man on earth at an official 763.035 mph (or Mach 1.016 which sounds much cooler), a speed he set in Thrust SSC back in 1997. He also holds the world Diesel speed record at 350.092mph, set in the JCB DieselMax in 2006. You'd think this would be enough for any Boy's Own hero . . .

. . . but you'd be wrong.

In three years time, Andy Green hopes to be the first man to drive a car at over 1000mph in his spiky new car, Bloodhound SSC.

Like any red bloodied young man, I was fascinated by the world land speed record from an early age, mostly thanks to Top Trumps it must be said. I remember, as a geeky 13yr old, Britain's Richard Noble in his car Thrust2 bringing the record home "for Britain and for the hell of it!" with a speed of 650mph. I remember being glued to the tv, my father snoring in the background, my dinner uneaten on the table, as John Craven showed Thrust2 screaming across Black Rock Desert in the USA, a huge plume of dust billowing behind it.

Fast forward to 1997, and I sat glued to a computer monitor at the Motorola factory where I worked at the time, surfing this new 'interweb' thing, desperate for any info on the rumoured sonic boom from Thrust SSC.

It's no surprise therefore, that I'm now completely hooked on the new challenge that awaits Wing Commander Green, so much so that I've paid my £10 to have my name on the side of the car when it makes its attempt in a few years time. Oh yes, got my certificate and everything!

Andy Green, the hopes and prayers of geeks, nerds and engineering students the world over, rest on your shoulders. Godspeed, my friend.

PS - Just in case you forgot what he gets up to in his spare time . . .

1 comment:

Steve said...

1000mph...? That reminds me of a Darwin awards winner from a few years back who attached a jet engine to his car and attempted to launch himself along a straight bit of road... apparently they only identified hin by the teeth marks embedded in the remains of the steering wheel - he and the car had hit a cliff face and all but vaporized themselves.