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Friday, 24 May 2013

Andy Green - Breaking the Sound Barrier

You can view the article on the Winol magazine Adventure and Travel here - http://www.winol.co.uk/winoladventure/2013/05/andy-green-breaking-the-sound-barrier/

Andy Green_ Autosport 2012_2 [pic credit Stefan Marjoram]
Andy Green beside the Bloodhound SSC
Picture Credit - Stefan Marjoram
Images provided by Curventa and Siemens'
Written by Daniel Mackrell

At the 2012 Olympics, the world watched on as some of the fastest men on the planet competed in London.
Andy Green's taste for speed however, is on another level, becoming the first man to break the sound barrier, and currently holds the World land Speed Record. The RAF fighter pilot will be looking to break this record again in the near future with the Bloodhound SSC, which will be targeting more than 1,000 mph - faster than a bullet.

Andy was born on the 30th July 1962, and met his wife Emma in 2007. He studied at St Olave’s Grammar school, before gaining an RAF scholarship to Worcester College in oxford. After graduating with first class honours in mathematics in 1983, Andy then qualified as a fighter pilot, spending time on the F-4 Phantom and Tornado F3. These gave him a taste for speed, with the F-4 Phantom reaching up to Mach 1.97, and the Tornado F3 has maximum speed of 1,480 km/h.
Andy Green_ Autosport 2012 [pic credit Stefan Marjoram]_0
Picture Credit - Stefan Marjoram
Images provided by Curventa and Siemens'

He spent time in Bosnia, Iraq and the Falklands, before spending a year in Australia.

Andy’s big opportunity came when the holder of the World Land Speed Record at the time – Richard Noble, announced that he wouldn’t be driving the Thrust SSC (Super Sonic Car). Andy saw an article about the announcement in the Sunday Times, and applied for the position.

After a number of exhausting tests in hot conditions at a rally school, Andy Green was announced as the driver at a ceremony at Brooklands Museum. His reflexes and driving skills were tested to the limit before he was finally chosen as the man that would drive the first supersonic car that would break the World Land Speed Record.

Andy broke the sound barrier with the ThrustSSC on 15th October 1997, setting the new World Land Speed Record of 763mph. It became the first car to officially break the sound barrier. During an interview with AskMen, Andy said that the whole team were worried that something would go wrong and cause them not to break the record. He told AskMen 'We were all nervous about making mistakes'.

Andy Green still works full time with the RAF, and is currently working for the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall.
He has a taste for speed and adventure, spending some of his time as a skydiver, a yachtmaster, an aerobatic pilot and as Captain of the Royal Air Force Cresta team.
Andy said he admires Neil Armstrong for his skill and performance, as well as Richard Noble, the man who held the World land Speed Record before him, and who is currently leading the Bloodhound SSC project that will look to break the record again.

He has been around the country, promoting the Bloodhound SSC, which aims to create an interest in science and technology for young people.

Andy has gained many honours and awards. In 1997, he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year’s Honours List. He was given the British Racing Drivers’ Club John Cobb Trophy in 2006. An Honorary degree was awarded to him in July 2007 by Staffordshire University.

Andy isn't spending as much time in the air now as he would like, but he is continuing to work towards breaking his own record with the Bloodhound SSC in South Africa's Northern Cape. The target is to go faster than 1,000 mph, which would be faster than a speeding bullet.


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