Humans love speed and have spent a great deal of time inventing and improving so that we can go faster and faster. Until fairly recently, the speed of sound was the fastest thing we knew, apart from light. This changed in 1947 when the sound barrier was smashed by Chuck Yeager in a Bell X-1 aircraft called Glamorous Glennis. That was the pinnacle moment, the bar had been set, and now the contest began to go even faster. So, what are the fastest things on the planet?
Unofficially, the fastest production road car in the world is the Hennessey Venom GT which reached speeds of 270 mph in 2014. It was unofficial because it only completed one run, whereas a Guinness Record requires two runs in two directions. Officially, the record belongs to the Bugatti Veyron SuperSport, which can do 0-60 in a mere 2.4 seconds! Built to impossible standards, you can be sure that specialist equipment will have been used, like CNC Punching Machines to help produce shaped metal. Find out more at https://www.cotswold-machinery-sales.co.uk/euromac-bending-machines/punching-machines
The world’s fastest rollercoaster in Abu Dhabi is called the Formula Rossa at Ferrari World. Hydraulic pressure launches to its top speed of 150 mph, reaching it in just 5 seconds. Due to this speed, the track must be long and comes in at 2.2 km. The pace is such that riders must wear protective eyewear in case they get hit by an insect, which at that speed would feel like a brick!
The fastest non-production car is the British jet-propelled Thrust SSC. This was the first car to break the sound barrier in 1997 when it reached a staggering speed of 763 mph. It was driven by an RAF pilot, Andy Grain, in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada. The car is propelled by two Space Turbofan engines and guzzles 18 litres of fuel per second. It’s 16.5 m long and weighs 10.5 tonnes!
The fastest animal on earth is a title that belongs to the cheetah. This sleek, graceful cat cuts through the air at speeds up to 75 mph to give you a run for your money on the motorway! It can accelerate up to 62 mph in just the first 3 seconds of a sprint – which is more impressive than many of our cars.
The fastest waterslide is the Insano in Brazil. It stands 41 m high which is equivalent to a 14-story building! Riders don’t even touch the slide for most of the journey down as the decline is so steep that riders are in mid-air, only touching the water at the end. In reality, it is a 5-second, 65 mph free fall, only to be attempted by the very brave!