The British team responsible for breaking the sound barrier on land and redefining the land speed record will attempt to break their own record with a jet car capable of reaching 1050mph in 40 seconds.
Andy Green and Richard Noble launched the Bloodhound Project today at London’s Science Museum, with the aim of breaking the 763mph record set by Green in Thrust SSC in 1997. The attempt is due to take place in 2011.
If they manage it, the car will also have broken the low speed altitude for aircraft, which currently stands at 994mph and be faster than a bullet fired from a handgun.
"It’s a very long slim car," explained Green. "It has a big jet engine poking out of the back, and a long thin tube that will give us 25,000lb of thrust, giving the car a total of almost 130,000bhp."
The Bloodhound SSC, which uses a single jet engine backed up by a rocket mounted on the top of the fuselage, will weigh 6442kg and measure 12.8 metres long.
The huge wheels (900mm diameter) will spin at over 10,000rpm at the car’s top speed.
The project will be based in Filton, near Bristol, at the famous base where Concorde was developed. Unlike many projects of this type, development of the Bloodhound SSC will not be conducted behind closed doors.
"This is going to be a huge challenge starting right now," said Green. "We’ve got a lot of technical challenges and the geographical challenges of trying to find somewhere to run this car. We’ve also got a financial challenge."
Instead the team will hope to share the process with schools and other visitors in an effort to regenerate interest in engineering.
Funding will come partly from the Government, but only for the educational portion of the project.
Additional funding for the build and running costs of the Bloodhound will come from sponsors but, as with Thrust SSC, a substantial proportion of the money required is likely to be raised through the public.