Boldly Going Where No Tyre Has Gone Before
Fancy yourself a racer with your kitted out Fiesta, sports alloys and low profile rubber? How fast can you go on those performance tyres of yours? The tyres Steve Bennett plans to use on his latest ride will provide a level of performance that puts your pride and joy to shame….
To be fair, Mr. Bennett’s vehicle will cost a fraction more than yours – £7 million, to be precise – and the tyres it’s supplied with won’t last all that long. But the top speed Bennett’s vehicle can reach is a phenomenal 3,500 mph and the acceleration is, literally, rocket-like. The Nova 2, designed by Bennett, the scientist heading Salford University’s space technology lab, is intended to carry three passengers more than 60 miles above the Earth for journeys lasting some 20 minutes. And as to make it more environmentally friendly, the rocket will operate on fuel partly composed of recycled tyres.
Bennett bravely admits to gaining inspiration for his project from the 1960s television series the Thunderbirds, and has spent a decade planning the rocket. The 58 foot long rocket will have its initial unmanned test launch in September 2009, from a spaceport in New Mexico, USA. The British boffin hopes that passenger-carrying flights, which come with a £98,000 price tag, will be operating by 2013.