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  •   A.C. Puts the Boost in Museum Display of Thrust SSC (SuperSonic Car)

A.C. Puts the Boost in Museum Display of Thrust SSC (SuperSonic Car)

27th September 2001

Thrust SSC, the fastest car on earth, has been purchased by the Museum of British Road Transport (Coventry) and is to be displayed in a specially designed 'Mach 1 Show' open to the public from 9th September 2001.

Thrust SSC, powered by two Rolls Royce Spey 205 turbojet engines, became the first car to achieve the supersonic world land speed record on 15th October 1997 by achieving a speed of 763.035 mph. From that moment it became one of the most famous cars in the world and will now take pride of place in the museum alongside Thrust 2, its land speed record predecessor, which has been on display since 1992.

The car was purchased with the help of a major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and this included a sum of money for use in mounting an imaginative presentation of the vehicle using a variety of audio-visual techniques.

The museum awarded a contract for overall design and project management to JSP Design Associates Ltd. of Northampton to create a unique exhibition space and an imaginative presentation of the car. JSP Design sub-contracted A.C. Lighting Ltd. to resolve the audio-visual and show control aspects of the presentation and to introduce a tactile element to the display. The AV presentation, which runs for just over 4 minutes, utilises two Philips, cBright SV1 multi-media projectors fed from two Philips PRO170 DVD players. Projecting onto screens above the car, these show video footage taken during the record breaking run from a camera mounted inside the cockpit of Thrust SSC and a view from a camera mounted in the tail wing fin. Show control is provided by an Artistic Licence, Common-Sense interface unit and this is used to activate five Martin AF-1 DMX controlled fans that simulate the wind pressure of the car speeding across the desert. At the end of the video sequence, lighting is faded up to fully reveal Thrust SSC. Audio reproduction, including a sonic boom, is provided by Celestion full range speakers, powered by C-Audio amplification.

Stewart Bell of JSP Design Associates stated "We are delighted to have had the opportunity to create a unique exhibit to present this magnificent piece of our nation's motoring heritage and particularly to help locate the car in Coventry, a city with very strong associations with the British transport industry". A.C. Lighting's Special Projects Manager, Peter Keiderling added, "It has been very satisfying to be involved in such a wonderful project and it is an excellent example of the wide range of projects we can undertake".