Thrust SSC

On 15th October 1997 Richard Noble's Thrust SSC (Super Sonic Car) set the first ever supersonic land speed record, reaching 763.035mph.

In the summer of 1996 Space Air were asked for assistance by the team attempting the world's first 'supersonic' Land Speed Record. They were in desperate need of air-conditioning equipment for two very different areas.

 The first area was the 'Pit Station', a mobile trailer which had been converted to a Control Centre for the whole operation housing a computer station, workshop and communications / information area. A Daikin Multi Split System requiring only one Condensing Unit was chosen due to the fact that space was limited and the outdoor unit would need to be mounted on the front of the Trailer.

 The second area was extraordinary and did not have such a simple solution! Air-conditioning was required for the car's onboard computers (monitoring 147 different sensors) and driver Andy Green, as the huge jet engines generate heat in excess of 540°C. This equipment could not be fixed to the car itself due to obvious weight & size limitations, so the task was to provide 'portable' units (but not in the usual sense of the word).

The SSC was to make several runs, and when it came to rest after each of these 90 second runs it was to be met by two, six wheeled Supacats with trailers. The Supacat's job was to refuel the car, lift it and turn it around ready for the next run. The first option was to mount the A/C systems onto each of these support vehicles, but much of the space on these vehicles was already taken by Generators and the massive fuel load required. Therefore, the only solution was to manufacture 'purpose built' Packaged Units which could then be mounted on each of the small jacking trailers being towed by the Supacats and which could then push the conditioned air through flexible ducting some 15 metres along the car.

A great deal of modification work was required and, with Daikin's approval, Engineers immediately set to work on designing the units using modified Daikin equipment and components.

The Air-conditioning equipment supplied by Space Air proved to be invaluable. Driver Andy Green commented "we are indebted to Space Air for their help in air-conditioning the Thrust SSC. I sat between two Rolls-Royce Spey after-burning turbofan jet engines, and I can tell you I needed cooling in the cockpit".

Richard Noble added to this with "we could not have broken the record without the assistance of Space Air".

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