British engineers have started building what they hope will be the world’s fastest car – capable of reaching 1,000mph. The Bloodhound SSC (Supersonic car) will be powered by a jet engine from Eurofighter Typhoon being positioned above a hybrid rocket. This combination should produce 135,000 horsepower — equivalent to the power of 180 Formula One cars.
Attempts to smash the land speed record by more than 200mph will begin with runs on a flat, dried-up lake bed at Hakskeen Pan in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province in 2011.
Wing Commander Andy Green poses today in front of a three-quarter scale model of the front section of the Bloodhound SSC
The car will be driven by Wing Commander Andy Green, who holds the current record speed of 763mph after achieving it in Thrust SSC in 1997.
The Bloodhound project, led by Richard Noble OBE, who held the land speed record between 1983 and 1997, is based in Bristol. It is designed to inspire young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by highlighting the feats Britons can achieve.
About 25,000 schools are taking part in the programme. The project also has an internet following and during the time trial a live video will be streamed from the cockpit.
Bloodhound project leader Richard Noble with the Thrust SSC in 1997, which hit 763mph
The car has gone through ten design evolutions since work started on it and the building will now commence at a site in Bristol Docklands.
The hybrid rocket, involving a conventional rocket and a separate engine to pump fuel, is the largest ever designed in the UK – weighing 400kg and being 14ft long.
Wing Commander Green, 46, said: ‘The Bloodhound is a country mile more sophisticated because we have spent two years on the research and we have done some ground-breaking stuff, which puts me ahead of the competition.’
Thrust SSC breaks the world land speed record at Black Rock Desert in Nevada
He will lie feet-first in the car and as it accelerates to 1,050mph in 40 seconds he will experience a force of 2.5G, or about twice his body weight. As he decelerates, experiencing forces of up to 3G, the blood will drain from his head to his feet and he could black out.
He will prepare for the trial by flying upside down in a stunt aircraft. ‘A huge advantage is that I’ve got 20 years’ experience of flying fast jets,’ he said.
The car bares a resemblance to the Bluebird in which Sir Malcolm Campbell and his nephew Donald Campbell set numerous land and water speed records throughout the 20th century.
However, the pursuit of speed cost Donald his life when he crashed on Coniston Water trying to beat the water speed record in 1967.
The car’s pencil-shaped shell is made from forged aerospace-grade aluminium.
The first prototype rocket has already been successfully fired in California’s Mojave desert.
The Bloodhound team have spent some time looking for a perfect location for the record attempt, with 35 sites making it on to the short list.
Verneuk Pan in South Africa, scene of an unsuccessful bid for the land speed record by Sir Malcolm Campbell in 1929 was favoured at one time, but had a stone-littered surface.
Eventually, Hakskeen Pan, also in South Africa, was chosen.
It has a relatively debris-free surface and is 12 miles long, although a dirt track which crosses the run area will have to be removed.
Via Daily Mail