Currently reading: Bloodhound's Andy Green on the challenges of doing 1000mph
Land speed record holder Green explains why he wants to set a new top speed for land and the challenges it brings

Andy Green is already the current holder of the world land speed record, as well as being the first person to break the sound barrier on land - so what is motivating him to jump back into a supersonic machine and attempt to set a new record?

We spoke to then man himself after his recent and successful first test in the Bloodhound SSC to find out.

Why are you doing this?

“Obviously to break the record, but there’s much more to it than that. We want to showcase British tech, and inspire schoolkids into science and technology. We’re doing some runs this week especially for 4000 Cornish schoolkids.”

If this car can do 1000mph, doing 200mph must be easy, right?

“It’s slower, for sure, but Bloodhound is made for 18sec runs at full power, not to be used as a drag racer on an airfield. With only 1.5 miles of runway to play with, we’re quite restricted.”

Does it feel fast off the line?

“It’ll do 0-60mph in about two seconds under full power, but there’s not much time to think about it because the engine takes time to shut down, so you’ve got to cut the power at 130mph so as to ‘only’ hit 200mph. The carbon brakes take a while to heat up, too, so you’ve got to plan carefully.”

How big is Bloodhound?

“About the same length and fin height as a Red Arrows Hawk, around 13 metres. When configured for 1000mph runs, it’ll weigh eight tonnes and be as powerful as all nine Red Arrows aircraft combined.”

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Steve Cropley

Steve Cropley Autocar
Title: Editor-in-chief

Steve Cropley is the oldest of Autocar’s editorial team, or the most experienced if you want to be polite about it. He joined over 30 years ago, and has driven many cars and interviewed many people in half a century in the business. 

Cropley, who regards himself as the magazine’s “long stop”, has seen many changes since Autocar was a print-only affair, but claims that in such a fast moving environment he has little appetite for looking back. 

He has been surprised and delighted by the generous reception afforded the My Week In Cars podcast he makes with long suffering colleague Matt Prior, and calls it the most enjoyable part of his working week.

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LP in Brighton 12 December 2017

Why not make it autonomous

It would avoid the considerable driver risk, plus the control inputs could be made to react in microsecond compared with the hundreds of milliseconds possible with a human at the controls? So the chance of success would be greater. Remember that the first manned Russian space flight was only performed after earlier unmanned trials - and the capsule only had a window for PR purposes, not to assist in control. 

Maybe that's just the point, there'd be no publicity (and more important, funding) without a human at the wheel...

xxxx 12 December 2017


The car was funded, designed and made to break the Land Speed Record. Without a driver at the wheel it wouldn't get the record!!!

What would've been the point in that!

good luck and Best of British