Thrust SSC


A Fecher on Jafr Desert with a distant rainbow
A Fecher on Jafr Desert with a distant rainbow

As an exercise in logistics it’s an interesting problem - you have a desert track marked by 17 white lines each 10 miles long, a pits area that is marked only by two barrels, and a graded access track from which it is easy to stray at night into a vast area of axle-breaking ruts, and you are 2,500 miles away arriving by air. You need to mark the perimeter of the track to prevent vehicles accidentally straying onto it, to fence off the desert pits to mark the safe area for VIPS and media, and you need to help drivers find their way on and off the desert by night. Whatever you use, it must be light, robust and simple.

Chris Fecher’s young son Marcus is a keen follower of the ThrustSSC project through his membership of the Mach 1 Club, and dragged his reluctant father along to one of the Open Days at Farnborough just at the time Richard Noble was pondering this problem. Chris was immediately hooked, and when he discovered that his company, Fanning Polyform, could help he designed the new marker posts on the spot. Two weeks later, the ThrustSSC team had 300 of them ready to go with them to Jordan, some with the inscription: "Speed Limit 850mph"!

Quickly named ‘Fechers’, they are a fantastic solution to the problem: the light base can be filled with water, dried desert mud or stones to hold it steady and in place; they can be built to different heights using multiple posts if needed; the reflective band makes them stand out superbly at night; and they are simple, easy to erect and robust.

Only one problem to date has been found: each Fecher has three ThrustSSC logos on the base - some of which have been noticed on the sides of local trucks in Al Jafr…!

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