Richard Noble OBE – World Speed Record Breaker and Motivational Buisness Speaker
Against a background of today’s low risk culture, Richard Noble specialises in developing high risk ventures. Obviously not all of them can be successful, but the Thrust2 programme which brought the World Land Speed Record back to Britain in 1983 and the ThrustSSC first ever supersonic land speed record programme are the best known.
Richard Noble’s other projects include the ARV Super2 light aircraft, the Atlantic Sprinter Blue Riband Contender, the Farnborough F1 Aircraft – the first point to point taxi aircraft and the JCB DieselMax Diesel Streamliner 2004-2006
Born in Edinburgh in 1946, Richard Noble began his career selling paint for Dulux. He chose not to go to university because he preferred to ‘get on with life’. But selling paint wasn’t exactly the dynamic life he needed. Suffering from boredom, he decided to go on an adventure and set off on an expedition from London to Cape Town in a Land Rover. The trip involved crossing the Sahara and Congo on 10,000 miles of rough road in a 13 year-old short-wheel-base Land Rover. The trip was achieved with a team of six and apart from a major breakdown in the central Sahara, 200 miles from water, the team made it through in 4 months. The small matter of South African customs duty made it important to return the Land Rover to the UK and this was achieved in five months with a new team, via India, Kashmir and Afghanistan
At a very young age, Richard Noble was inspired by John Cobb whom he had seen racing his boat Crusader on Loch Ness only weeks before he died during an attempt on the water speed record. Richard set to work to build his own series of jet-propelled cars with the aim of breaking speed records.
Richard Noble founded Project Thrust in 1974. Working entirely alone and self-taught, he assembled Thrust 1 in the garage of his home in Surrey. Unfortunately, Thrust 1 came to a sticky end in 1977 when a wheel bearing failed as Richard was roaring up the runway of RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire at 200mph. The car flipped over three times and was a right-off, but Richard himself was unhurt.
Richard brought in outside help to construct Thrust 2. Funding was however, more difficult. His determination and various tactics paid off and he managed to secure £1.7m worth of sponsorship from some two hundred British companies. He took the British record in 1980 at RAF Greenham Common.
Richard then travelled to Bonneville Salt Flats in an attempt to capture the world record. But there was a series of setbacks. Back in Britain, Richard crashed Thrust 2, once again at 200mph, during a test run. It was not until 1983 that the car was ready again and a site was located that was not prone to flooding. On the vast expanse of the Black Rock desert, Richard took the world record reaching 633mph.
To achieve the supersonic record, Richard handed over responsibility for driving the car to Squadron Leader Andy Green. The car hurtled through the Nevada desert and into the record books with a recorded speed of 763.035mph on 1st March 2002.
Richard Noble is currently planning another world record attempt to take place in 2011. Bloodhound SSC aims to pass the 1,000mph mark, beating the current land speed record set by ThrustSSC
Richard Noble has been a regular speaker at corporate conferences across the glob with over 550 appearances in the last 25 years. Because of the wide range of activities involved in the projects and the extraordinary approaches needed to overcome the sceptics and cynics, Richard is able to speak on a very wide range of business related topics. Key to the presentations are the essential will to win through to success and the extraordinary levels of risk, stress pressure and struggle of the latest counter culture programmes.
Richard Noble’s presentations are deeply thought provoking, are presented at a fast pace and can feature amazing video inserts. The idea is to inspire the audience to realise that their true potential is likely to be way ahead of their current levels of personal ambition and to encourage original thought, action and to understand true teamwork.