Why is it called ThrustWSH?
Because it describes what the craft is all about.
We’ve used the Thrust name for previous land speed record projects. For instance ThrustSSC which stood for supersonic car. So this is ThrustWSH standing for water speed hydroplane.
When will ThrustWSH run?
Target date is 2025-26 but this depends on successful conclusion of the research and testing. Until we are sure that the design will work within acceptable safety limits we will not begin the build.
Will it be safe?
If our research says that we cannot run the boat to acceptable levels of safety, we will not take the project beyond the research and testing phase.
Where will ThrustWSH run?
Rather than selecting an available lake and designing it to run on the space available, we are doing it the other way around.
Current research indicates a body of water 8-9 miles long and 3 miles wide will be needed. It must be fresh water and ideally in the UK. When we know for sure what we need we will start looking at possible sites.
Who will pilot ThrustWSH?
Whoever turns out to be best person for the job will be in the cockpit.
As with ThrustSSC we will work with appropriate agencies on a selection process to find the best person but it is open to all.
What speed are you aiming for?
The current record of 317mph has stood since 1978. Right now there are four other projects out there in various stages of development so we have to assume that before we run the record could have been raised to around 400mph.
Therefore, we must design ThrustWSH to set a record of at least 400+mph plus an adequate safety margin.
Haven't people died trying this?
With a fatality rate of 50% it is indeed the most dangerous of all outright records. 2 people have died since Ken Warby set his record. We don’t have the accumulated knowledge that he has passed on to his son Dave for his latest project so we have to start from scratch.
This means thorough research and innovation using latest techniques not available when that record was set. People said we couldn’t set a supersonic record but we did so we are taking the same research based approach. Even so, success is not guaranteed,
Is it sustainable?
Pushing boundaries and limits in any technological field nearly always throws up unexpected benefits. Although the boat will burn jet fuel we are working with a company developing sustainable fuel for the aviation industry. To start with, our engine testing will used bio fuel rather than the usual JetA but we intend to go beyond that with them by testing a really innovative fuel that actually takes waste as the raw material.
As with other businesses we’re also using virtual meeting technology and on-line collaboration to progress the research. We have team members in France, Germany and Switzerland as well as across the UK but we only ever travel when necessary.
Any additional benefits?
Although things are improving slightly, getting youngsters excited about careers in science and technology is still difficult.
We’ve had a massive public following with previous projects and engaged hundreds of schools and thousands of students with projects and activities based on the land speed record.
Doing the same for a water speed record project will open up many other educational areas. We want it to be an inspirational project for them.
How is this being financed?
To date it has all been self-financed by team leader Richard Noble and all those team members giving freely of their time, skills and financial support.
Our research and testing has also been generously supported by a number of companies providing their products, capabilities, skills and people.
We are now at the stage where we believe we have a project that is viable and can attract commercial backers even in a tough economic climate.
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