When Britain's ThrustSSC jet-powered car smashed the world land speed record last month and went supersonic across the Black Rock Desert in Arizona, USA, the UK's Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) felt a certain glow of pride.

DERA (Stand B505) provided the ThrustSSC team with some of the necessary test and evaluation facilities, including use of the 1,500m test track at Pendine in Wales - the site of several previous attempts on the record - and testing of the Rolls-Royce Spey jet engines (from an RAF McDonnell Douglas Phantom) which power the car.

DERA was also involved in the selection procedure which chose the car's driver, Sqn Ldr Andy Green, whose 'day job' is flying Tornados for the British Royal Air Force.

When Green was hurtling across the surface of the desert at almost 800mph (1,280km/h), he was familiar with the environment, thanks to a simulator built by DERA using a computer-generated out-of-cockpit view and an emulation of the instrument panel.




Source: Flight Daily News