In 1997, Andy Green broke the world land speed record when he drove the Thrust SSC 763mph. Can he break 1,000mph?
Many of the pilots assembled at the Dubai Airshow can boast breaking the sound barrier, but only one man in the world can say he's done it both in the sky and on the ground. That privilege belongs to former fighter jet pilot Royal Air Force (RAF) Wing Commander Andy Green.
As the driver of Thrust SSC -- the fastest car on the planet -- he broke the sound barrier in 1997 with a world land speed record of 763mph.
Despite the roar of the display jets passing overhead, he remains focused on more terrestrial matters: the quest to drive a car over 1,000 mph with The Bloodhound Project. "As with everything I do in life, being able to do difficult things and do them well is hugely satisfying," he says from the roof of the Eurofighter chalet at the event.
With a name that could be a code word for a covert Second World War operation (it's actually named after a missile), The Bloodhound Project has plenty of challenges up ahead. "Basically we're trying to do what no one has done before," he says. "I've got five supersonic runs, which is five more than anybody else. That gives me a unique perspective on the challenges facing the new car and how we're going to take it a lot further."
The design of the car took years to perfect and while it still generally resembles a rocket on wheels, there are plenty of things that make it much more than just a fighter jet without the wings; one of the biggest challenges is dealing with the shockwaves caused by the wheels traveling at such high speeds.
Something that the car does have directly in common with a fighter jet is the engine. It uses an EJ200 engine normally found on aEurofighter Typhoon jet. It was one of the test-and-development engines donated by Eurofighter.
It's as close as Green gets to a jet engine these days; the 51-year-old flew missions over Bosnia and Iraq and was in charge of running the RAF's air campaign missions over Libya in 2011. During that campaign he says that the success rate of the engine was 97%, which means he has no concerns about sitting in front of one and hurtling across the ground at previously unimaginable speeds.