Bloodhound has already been driven to over 200mph; it will next be driven to 500mph in 2019, with a 1000mph attempt due in 2020
Steve Cropley Autocar
16 May 2018

The Bloodhound SSC - the British 1000mph Eurofighter-jet-powered land speed record challenger - looks set to make its first record attempt at the end of 2019 despite major setbacks to funding.

Thanks to a shift in plans, the Bloodhound team, which recently lost composites suppliers that have fallen into receivership, is scheduled to make its first high-speed runs on South Africa's Northern Cape desert in May 2019, before making a record attempt in the final quarter of that year.

The car won't be shipped back to the UK between its test and final runs, as originally planned, in order to reduce costs. The money saved from this decision is said to have kept the project on track.

When the Bloodhound makes its first desert run, it will reach 500mph, which is seen as one of the riskiest speeds for the car. Between 400mph and 500mph, the car's progress is no longer dictated by its contact with the ground but its aerodynamics, making the car at its least stable.

Bloodhound SSC: inside the factory building a 1000mph car

The test will be the first time that the Bloodhound's aluminium wheels will be used. These are 35in units with V-shaped keels that will dig into the mud at low speeds but rise up and plane along the surface at 500mph. In the earlier UK test at Newquay airport, the car reached 200mph on runway wheels from an English Electric Lightning fighter jet.

In the test, which can be watched below, the world’s fastest man of the past 20 years, Wing Commander Andy Green, was at the Bloodhound's wheel for the first time.

Fifty test tracks will be marked out at the final desert location, with each being used only once due to the car breaking the mud surface on each run. Normal wheels cannot be used because their tyres will disintegrate at these speeds, due to the centrifugal force generated, whereas the aluminium wheels can spin at up to 10,200rpm, or 170 revolutions per second.

Data from the test will be collected by more than 500 sensors across the Bloodhound and shared with schools around the world for student analysis. To prepare the dried-up lakebed for the Bloodhound's run, 16,000 tons of rock had to be removed by the local community, from the 22 million square-metre site - the largest land clearance ever undertaken for a motorsport event.

Bloodhound's Andy Green on the challenges of doing 1000mph

Before the Bloodhound makes its 1000mph attempt, likely in 2020, backers hope to top 800mph before the close of 2019, beating Green’s previous record (set on 15 October 1997 in the Thrust SSC) of 763.065mph. To do this, the Bloodhound's jet rocket will need to produce 13 tons of thrust - four more than was needed in the 200mph run.

Only once this is done will the Bloodhound crew add extra rocket motors for an attempt to set a 1000mph land speed record. Green told Autocar that the thrust for this run will reach 20 tonnes, which is equal to the power all nine RAF Red Arrows Hawk aircraft or 180 Formula 1 cars produce.

Bloodhound's ultimate goal: 1000mph

For Bloodhound to achieve its ultimate goal, marketing director Ewen Honeyman - a man with vast marketing experience, including a stint in Formula 1 - emphasises how large a support network the project will need. Sponsors involved include Cooper Tires, engineering company Renishaw, the Belstaff clothing company and IT firm Oracle.

Project director Richard Noble, himself a former land speed record holder, called the Newquay runway trials that were completed in 2017 “the biggest milestone in the history of the project so far” because they provided the team with their first opportunity to rehearse the procedures that will be used for Bloodhound's serious record runs.

Noble said the Bloodhound team also see the runway trials as a way of thanking the schools, students, families and companies that have supported their project, which stalled for almost a year due to a shortage of finance until Geely - which also owns the London Taxi CompanyLotus, Proton and Volvo - agreed to become Bloodhound’s lead partner and finance the 1000mph project to its conclusion.

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Comments
15

12 June 2017
I hope they show it live on their website and especially the actual record breaking attempts.

27 October 2017

This does seem to be becoming an incredibly protracted affair. I appreciate funding may be difficult and there is a need for caution, but after what seems like a decade they've only managed to just better the top speed of a Bentley SUV and the attempt at 1000mph is still 3 years away. If you accept that each high speed run is fairly dangerous, why spend a year running at 600mph+ then another at 800mph before finally trying for 1000mph. If I was Andy Green I'd want, within reason, to go for it as soon as possible.


13 June 2017
Winston, I hope you're being sarcastic - this is a huge project, breaking brand new territory and has required a vast amount of research.

Not only that, but the recession hurt their income and the project was frozen for more than a year.

Many would have given up but such is Richard Noble's passion and determination that he kept the project alive on a shoestring budget - until Geely stepped in with a key funding commitment.

Owen, I'm pretty sure that they'll stream the LSR attempts. They've built a pretty sophisticated data structure at Hakspeen.

Not only that but they have a history of streaming when Thrust SSC was running they used a lot of webcams - you can read more about this on the Thrust SSC website which has been frozen and kept live at thrustssc.com.

Go to the site and follow "live pictures" for examples of streamed video

25 September 2017
Dunlop rubber tyres from an English Electric Lightning? As far as I'm aware, there's only one airworthy Lightning left. Does someone still make the tyres? If not, I'd have thought the rubber was a bit perished by now.

3 October 2017
beechie wrote:

Dunlop rubber tyres from an English Electric Lightning? As far as I'm aware, there's only one airworthy Lightning left. Does someone still make the tyres? If not, I'd have thought the rubber was a bit perished by now.

Those particular tyres were probably chosen because they were of a convenient size and designed to cope with the speeds they will see at Newquay, thus saving a great deal of money that would have been needed to design custom tyres. To suggest that they might be using old, perished rubber is pretty stupid to say the least.

Citroëniste.

3 October 2017
Bob Cholmondeley wrote:

beechie wrote:

Dunlop rubber tyres from an English Electric Lightning? As far as I'm aware, there's only one airworthy Lightning left. Does someone still make the tyres? If not, I'd have thought the rubber was a bit perished by now.

Those particular tyres were probably chosen because they were of a convenient size and designed to cope with the speeds they will see at Newquay, thus saving a great deal of money that would have been needed to design custom tyres. To suggest that they might be using old, perished rubber is pretty stupid to say the least.

Are you retarded?

3 October 2017

It is a valid point, who still makes new tyres for Lightnings, the last RAF one flew in 1988 and the last Saudi one a few years later. It is a tiny market now.

26 October 2017

I dont think they will be using any tyres, from any other aircraft.

The SSC will be using SOLID wheels, aluminium, I think. There is not any suitable tyres anywhere that will come with the speed or the loads for a high speed run.

26 October 2017

Sorry that should read "cope with the speed or loads..."

26 October 2017

Those of you too thick to understand my post from 03/10/17 should read this from the Bloodhound SSC website: "

efore BLOODHOUND SSC goes to South Africa, it will be tested at much lower speeds in the UK at Newquay. There’s no need for steel wheels there, so we have two separate sets of more traditional wheels with rubber tyres that will be used instead.

The runway tyres are, amazingly, the same tyres that were used on Thrust 2 and Thrust SSC.Originally manufactured by Dunlop for the English Electric Lightning jet fighter, the Thrust team persuaded the manufacturer to make another batch for the car in 1979. These were later sold to a firm in South Africa which offered high speed flights to paying passengers, and then bought back by the BLOODHOUND Project.

Having got Dunlop to check they were still OK, it’s the spare tyres from this batch that will be used by BLOODHOUND. After all these years they are still ideal for high speed car runs as their profile is very tall and very skinny, and they have a very high load rating. As a consequence, the runway wheels were made to fit the tyres, rather than the other way around"

Citroëniste.

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