This is what it looks like to travel at supersonic speeds in a car
In all of human history, merely one car has travelled faster than the speed of sound: the Thrust SSC. While the people over at Budweiser are keen to express that they were the ones to break the sound barrier first, their run was never officially verified, and no sonic boom could be heard. It was a different story for Thrust SSC.
The human imagination doesn’t have the capacity to envisage what our eyes would be greeted with if we were to see the world blast on by at the speed of sound. It would be a moment where you would feel as though you were voyaging through an inter-dimensional portal, where all limitations of time and space no longer apply.
Upon conducting test runs in the Black Rock desert, Thrust SSC was fitted with a rear wing camera to not only help the team gather data, but to also capture what supersonic speed looks like. The video - which can be viewed below - feels like a real-life depiction of hyperdrive in action.
For all hypercars out there, the acceleration of the Thrust SSC is a hugely emasculating spectacle. Piloted by wing commander Andy Green, he eases it up to 80mph to prevent the enormous jet engines feasting on the desert floor. Once up to this speed, he ramps the throttle up to military power - a term used to determine the engine’s maximum output while not using afterburner. As soon as he does this, in what seems like an inconceivable blink, he’s up to 150mph.
At this point, Andy ignites the afterburner, and the gates of hell are opened. Flames gradually gain in intensity shooting out of the back of both engines, with the acceleration now occurring in a ruthless manner. 350, 450, 550, 650, 700 - numbers that shoot by almost as quickly as you can say them.
Andy keeps the car steady at 725mph through the measured mile. Not quite the speed of sound, but close. Two days later, Green ran the world’s first supersonic land speed record of 763mph - which to this day has never been surpassed. The whole ordeal, from the moment the car started rolling to the moment its wheels returned to stillness, took just 3 minutes. Amazingly, the Bloodhound SSC will aim to go to 1000mph and back in just 2 minutes. I can’t even get to the toilet and back in that time!
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