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Only one car in history has broken the sound barrier as amazing record was set 26 years ago
Featured Image Credit: John Chapple/Getty/Bill Nation/Sygma via Getty Images

Only one car in history has broken the sound barrier as amazing record was set 26 years ago

The one-of-a-kind car was driven in order to break the sound barrier

If you imagined 'the loudest sound' a few things might spring to mind. Fire alarm? Rocket launch? The grumble your stomach makes in a quiet room? There's a good few.

Surprisingly, when it comes to 'breaking the sound barrier' there are only a handful of things able to do this in the entire world, with a car being one of them.

Twenty-six years ago, one car managed to break the sound barrier and it's never been done since.

On 15 October 1997, Thrust SSC or 'Thrust SuperSonic Car', broke the world speed barrier by achieving speeds of 1,228 km/h (763 mph) in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada.

The specially designed car was driven by a British Royal Air Force pilot named Andrew Green.

In a YouTube video filming the Thrust SSC taking off, Green explained the conditions on the day: "When there's a car going at 700 mph, the car moves around more the faster you go, the wheels with skim across the surface, there's gusts of crosswind and the wheels are sliding around all over the track."

He continued: "I had to accelerate the car without it sucking up chunks of desert into the intakes."

The specially designed car reaches speeds of up to 700mph.
Wikimedia Commons/cmglee

"As I'm accelerating quicker through the 80, 90 miles per hour mark, I then had really strong airflow into the engines."

According to the Guinness World Records, Green described Thrust SSC at 500-700 miles per hour as 'a massive handful, bordering on uncontrollable'.

“The two huge booms that rang out over the site during Andy’s outward and return run sent his crew into spontaneous cheers – though because he was actually inside the vehicle that caused those sonic booms, he couldn’t hear them himself,” the Guinness World Records further explained.

“Green had driven faster than any other person in history. What’s more, his record-breaking ride came 50 years and one day after the sound barrier was first broken, by Chuck Yeager (USA) in a rocket plane, the Bell X-1.”

The car was able to break the sound barrier.
Photo by David Madison/Getty Images

As the only car to ever break the sound barrier, the Thrust SSC is now considered a part of history and is on display in Coventry Transport Museum in Coventry, England, where it can be viewed by sports and science enthusiasts alike.

Although the car was truly one-of-a-kind, and it's highly unlikely we'll ever see that kind of speed ever reached again, there are other supersonic projects in place, such as the revolutionary submarine being created by the US Navy.

Topics: News, Technology, Science