Since the creation of the car, there has been a fascination with speed and pushing the boundaries of car performance. In the 1920′s and 30′s, Land Speed Record holders such as Malcolm Campbell, Henry Seagrave and John Cobb were household names and the names are still familiar today. Fame for the driver and car were assured, making international headlines whenever the Land Speed Record (LSR) was attempted or broken.
After the World War II The race started again and in the 1960s there was another surge in interest when Donald Campbell took over from his father Sir Malcolm Campbell and made history by challenging for the World Speed Records on land and water and breaking both. The LSR was broken by Campbell in 1964 on a dry Lake Eyre, South Australia. This attempt lit a spark in a lad of twelve called Rosco McGlashan and also produced a battle royal between the Americans, Craig Breedlove and Art Arfons in the latter part of 1964 and through 1965. In that period, the record was broken seven times and raised by nearly 200 mph with the introduction of jet engine powered cars (unlimited record). This rivalry has been the subject of many TV programmes and recently a very good BBC documentary called “In Search Of Speed – The Battle of Bonneville”.
Warriors of the Sixties
Spirit of America
In 1983, the British took the LSR back from the Americans with Thrust 2, driven by Richard Noble by travelling 633 mph over the measured mile. Thrust 2 broke the record held by Blue Flame, the first and only rocket powered car to hold the LSR and the British have held the record ever since.
In 1994, Rosco McGlashan broke the Australian LSR with a car called Aussie Invader II at 500 mph and then crashed it at nearly 600 mph trying to raise it further. In 1996 with a new car, Aussie Invader III, Rosco recorded a one way pass of 643 mph (1035 km/h), but bad weather prevented a return run, and the record did not change hands. In 1997, the British raised the bar further by reaching 763 mph (1,223 km/h) and breaking the sound barrier in Thrust SSC, driven by Andy Green.
Now the race is on again! Three teams are currently building vehicles to challenge and break the LSR and two are looking to hopefully raise it to over 1,000 mph. The three teams are the USA/Canada with North American Eagle, the current record-holders from the UK with a new car Bloodhound SSC and Australia, led by Rosco McGlashan, with his rocket powered car, Aussie Invader 5R.
A New Race Begins
|North American Eagle
|Aussie Invader 5R
The Brits and the Aussies are both building cars capable of reaching over 1,000 mph, where as the Americans are currently looking to break the existing LSR of 763 mph and have a completed car.
Breaking a 1,000 mph on land will push man and machine beyond anything that has gone before. This milestone in LSR history will not be achieved overnight and the record will almost certainly be increased in stages to limit the danger to the drivers as much as possible.
At these speeds the forces on the car and its components will be massive and systems and handling will need to be tested thoroughly as the boundaries of technical development, man and machine are pushed to the limits. After each attempt or series of attempts, the vehicles will need to be analysed and checked and possibly refined. This means that the LSR record could be broken on numerous occaisions and possibly by different teams, hopefully creating global media interest.
Rosco McGlashan and Aussie Invader 5R
The legendary Peter Brock once called Rosco McGlashan “A person who absolutely gives it a red hot go”. As the driving force behind The Aussie Invader 5R team, McGlashan is determined to realise the dream he has spent over 45 years chasing. He sets his goals high and will not stop at being “THE FASTEST AUSSIE ON EARTH”; he now intends to be the “THE FASTEST MAN ON EARTH”.
Aussie Invader 5R, is being constructed by McGlashan and a team of skilled professionals to achieve four main objectives:
|1.||To set a new Australian Land Speed Record;|
|2.||To break the sound barrier;|
|3.||To set a new World Land Speed Record; and|
|4.||To reach a speed of 1,000 mph (1,609 km/h).|
The Most Powerful Car Ever Built
0 -1,000 mph (1,609 km/h) in 20 seconds – 52 ft long (16 metres) – 9 tonnes fully fuelled
Aussie Invader 5R is the most powerful of the current three challengers, with 62,000 pounds of thrust from its bi-propellant liquid oxygen (LOX) rocket motor. The total power output from the LOX motor has been estimated at around 200,000 hp, making it the most powerful LSR car ever built. The engine is based on an Atlas rocket motor and is being developed and built by the well respected and pioneering New Zealand Company, Rocket Lab. Rosco and The Aussie Invader team are very excited to be working with Rocket Lab, whose professionalism and expertise are second to none.
Rocket Lab have shown incredible dedication and have actively got involved in the development of the car, which has the potential to create LSR history and is likely to break the Australian LSR several times as it approaches 1,000 mph. Reaching each of the incremental milestones will add to the excitement, media interest and exposure of the car and the team in Australia and internationally, which will assist in creating global awareness of the competition between the three nations and their cars.