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Thrust SSC powers its way to prestigious award

Posted on 01 Mar 2019 and read 1423 times
Thrust SSC powers its way to prestigious awardThe first land vehicle to break the sound barrier has been honoured with an award that puts it alongside engineering greats such as Concorde and the Channel Tunnel.

The iconic 54ft-long Thrust SSC, powered by twin Rolls-Royce Spey turbofan engines with 50,000lb of thrust, reached a speed of 764mph in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert in October 1997 and has since been on display in Coventry Transport Museum’s land-speed gallery.

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) (www.imeche.org) recently presented the team behind the vehicle and the museum with an Engineering Heritage Award.

The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor John Blundell, said: “Coventry is known for its innovation, and our inventions have helped to change the world.

“Thrust SSC is a vehicle that means so much to the city; it now takes its rightful place among some iconic achievements in engineering.”

John Wood, chairman of IMechE’s Engineering Heritage Award committee, said deciding which feats of engineering to honour was difficult.

“When it comes to individual artefacts, it’s not an easy decision to make; only the very best and unique can be honoured.

“This vehicle and the team behind it entered into uncharted territory, and what it achieved was quite extraordinary.”