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Last chance to ride the Thrust Simulator

03 October 2014

There are just two weeks left for you to ride the current World Land Speed Record Simulator and see the Thrust vehicles!

The Spirit of Speed gallery will be closed from Monday 20th October 2014 onwards, as we work to bring you a BRAND NEW 'Biffa Award Land Speed Record Gallery' including state of the art 4D Simulator Ride - which will open in Spring 2015.

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There are few man-made inventions that can boast to have broken the sound barrier and travelled to the moon and back - and even fewer that can say they have done it 4.5 times without leaving the ground!

But, after taking more than one million passengers on a supersonic ‘virtual’ journey of more than 760 mph, Coventry Transport Museum’s Thrust SSC land speed record simulator is set to take its final passengers on this thrilling ride.

The simulator, in the museum’s Spirit of Speed Gallery, adjacent to the actual 16.5 metre-long Thrust SSC vehicle that broke the historic land speed record in the Nevada Desert on 15 October 1997, has served as a major attraction for more than 14 years.

During the time the simulator has been at the museum, it has travelled more than two million ‘virtual’ miles – equivalent to lapping the globe a staggering 86 times or travelling to the moon and back 4.5 times. Despite never moving from its position in the museum, the simulator allowed thrill-seeking passengers to experience something of the G - force felt by Squadron-leader Andy Green as he sat in front of engines that powered the Phantom 2 jet on his epoch-changing attempt exactly 17 years ago.

Now the attraction is being put into retirement as the next generation of 4D land speed record simulator gets ready to take pride of place in a brand new ‘Biffa Award Land Speed Record Gallery’ at the newly-refurbished museum in Spring next year.

The current SSC attraction will run its final land speed record on October 19, so the timing clock is ticking for visitors to say their goodbyes and prepare for a new era in the £9.5 million museum, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the European Regional Development Fund, the Garfield Weston Foundation and Biffa Award.

From 20th October until Spring 2015, the whole of the Land Speed Record gallery will be closed to visitors, as it is moved to another part of the museum, meaning that both of the Thrust vehicles housed there will be unavailable to visitors during this time. 

"It is the end of an era, but also the beginning of a new phase for the museum with a brand new simulator that will thrill visitors in a different way as we unveil the new attraction," said Stephanie Brown, Head of Marketing for Culture Coventry, the trust that runs Coventry Transport Museum.

"We are expecting a lot of visitors over the next few weeks as people flock to have one last ride - some for nostalgia reasons and others because they have simply never experienced travelling at the speed of sound. It is a sad occasion, but I am sure we will attract even more visitors to the new simulator when it opens in the Spring. Thrust SSC and its predecessor Thrust 2 will take pride of place in the new Biffa Award Land Speed Record Gallery, and who knows, they may even be joined by a new land speed record breaker in the not too distant future!’ she said.

The current Spirit of Speed gallery, including the Thrust SSC simulator, is open daily at Coventry Transport Museum, until Sunday 19th October 2014.  The new land speed record gallery is due to open at the museum in Spring 2015, and has been generously supported by Biffa Award, a multi-million pound environment fund managed by the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT), which utilises landfill tax credits donated by Biffa Waste Services.

The Transport Museum redevelopment is also funded by the ERDF, HLF and Garfield Weston Foundation.

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