1997 challenger to be revised for 2007 record run
Serial adventurer Steve Fossett has announced his intention to break the Land Speed Record in 2007 after buying Craig Breedlove’s unsuccessful ’97 Spirit of America LSRV jet car. The American’s aim is to beat current record holder Andy Green’s best of 763mph, set in 1997 aboard Thrust SSC, by at least 40mph.
The balloonist and Le Mans occasional revealed his bid during a promotional tour of his new autobiography, Chasing the Wind. He said: “The Land Speed Record is as old as the automobile itself. Why do I want to break it? Think of the great names of the past: Campbell, Breedlove, Arfons, Noble… My objective is to push this record to 800mph and beyond. Stability and balanced aerodynamics will be key. At transonic speeds, the forces acting on even a large aircraft are substantial. Imagine those same forces on a relatively small vehicle travelling only inches above the desert floor. We have set a progressive series of test milestones, and will gather and evaluate data as we build up speed gradually. We are prepared to carry on beyond ’07 as well.”
The 47-foot long vehicle he will be driving is powered by a single J-79 turbojet engine. Project director Eric Ahlstrom will soon start reworking the car.