Richard Noble OBE is a British entrepreneur who has achieved six world speed records, including breaking the Sound barrier on land which has never been equalled or beaten.
Against a background of today's relatively low risk culture, Richard specialises in developing high risk ventures. Obviously, not all of them will be successful, but the Thrust2 programme, which brought the World Land Speed Record back to Britain in 1983, and the Thrust SSC first ever supersonic land speed record programme, set at Black Rock Desert Nevada in 1997, are the best known.
Richard Noble's other projects include the ARV Super2 light aircraft, the Atlantic Sprinter Blue Riband contender, Programme Funding, an original television funding company, Farnborough Aircraft, the first distributed travel air taxi aircraft and currently the Mach 1.4 Bloodhound SSC project.
These projects all started very small and being original in concept attract only very limited resource. So they have to obey the rules of small company survival:
1. Keep it simple.
2. Build a highly motivated, small team.
3. Move decisively and quickly.
4. Make up for the financial deficiencies with a very high level of team motivation and productivity.
The projects have always tended to be innovative - and that puts them against the odds and against the system which will always favour the conventional. Whilst support in terms of people and resource tends to be forthcoming, the financial support has always been the most difficult to achieve - whether sponsorship or investment - and often because of the financial community's real doubts about the teams ability to achieve. Oddly it does seem that the higher the perceived risk by the financial people, the greater the chance of the team achieving!
A lifelong interest in speed and engineering, Richard’s work has scaled all aspects with projects completed in air, marine and his best known, on land.
Richard Noble is a first class communicator and passionate about British engineering. He used the Bloodhound programme to advance engineering education in UK. In 2018 becoming the largest STEM programme in UK – engaging with 2,000,000 schoolchildren worldwide.
Richard was awarded the OBE for services to motor sport in 1983.