Morgan Advanced Materials has developed a bespoke ballistic panel that will protect Andy Green during his land speed record attempt in 2016
11 March 2015

The team behind the Bloodhound SSC project has completed a successful ballistics test of a new composite material that will protect British driver Andy Green during his 1000mph land speed record attempt in 2016.

During its fastest runs, Bloodhound's wheels will be spinning at 10,200rpm, the equivalent of 170 rotations per second. One of the dangers is the possibility of the wheels throwing up hidden stones, which could hit the car's bodywork at breakneck speeds.

Morgan Advanced Technologies, a technical partner on the project, has developed composite ballistic panels containing millions of woven glass fibres that will be fitted to the cockpit with the hope of protecting driver Andy Green.

As part of testing procedures, the panel was subjected to a 2000mph ballistics test, which you can see in the video below.

Other technical partners on the project include Jaguar, with the firm's supercharged V8 engine being used to power the fuel pump for the rocket that will take the car beyond 1000mph if the project is successful.

The news that a Jaguar engine will sit at the heart of the project was announced at the LA motor show in November last year, and is part of a wider co-operation between Jaguar and the Bloodhound team that includes technical input, sponsorship and marketing assistance.

Bloodhound will be part-powered by a jet engine from a Eurojet EJ200, which powers the Eurofighter Typhoon. Once up to speed, driver Andy Green will fire up rockets for additional power, creating estimated peak thrust of 77,500bhp. The Jaguar V8 will need to pump rocket fuel at a rate of 40 litres per second, and replaces the Cosworth Formula 1 engine that was originally used on test beds.

Jaguar engineers have already worked on a communication test for the car, using the new Jaguar F-type AWD. During the test the F-type was driven flat-out across South Africa’s Hakskeen Pan desert towards a fighter jet travelling at 500mph. The closing speed of close to 700mph allowed the team to test communications equipment.

Bloodhound will begin testing this year, with the goal in late 2015 to eclipse the current record of 763.035mph by passing 800mph. If that is successful, the team will then aim to break the 1000mph barrier in 2016.

The Bloodhound car was first revealed in model form in 2010, with the car's innovative rocket system first tested in 2012. The successful rocket test coincided with news that Bloodhound had secured enough funding to finish the project, the total cost of which is understood to have been around £8.5 million over four years.

Blog: The applied science behind Bloodhound's 1000mph bid

Blog: It's time to embrace the Bloodhound Land Speed Record project

The Land Speed Record holders at Goodwood - picture special

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20 November 2014
...Cosworth partnership ended a while ago but the original idea was to use a (then) contemporary 2.4 V8 F1 engine as the pump. Now a supercharged road car V8 will do, was the original brief a bit wild for its own good?

20 November 2014
I love this project. Imagine waking up one day and thinking "Let's try and get to 1,000 mph on land". It won't change the world, it's not green, it'll annoy a lot of people, but it makes me smile.

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